By Mary BASSEY, Senior Investigator Correspondent Lagos/
LAGOS-INDICATIONS have emerged to the effect that a Chinese operated Online loan app known as Lucky finance situated on Akinsaya Street behind Road safety office, Ojodu has been milking low income Nigerian earners dry, smiling to the banks and smearing the characters and status of its loan defaulters. Their modus operandi is simple: they simply approach network providers, buy random phone numbers and send text messages to the owners asking them to apply for short term loan of 7 days ranging from N10,000 to N50,000 and even more with cutthroat percentage; and in event of default in repayment, they go to social media to smear the image of the debtors.
For example, If the debtor is a female, they either put her picture with a dog and claim that such personality should be avoided because she sleeps with dogs or writes that she is HIV positive and should be avoided. To their male defaulters, they either write that the debtor is wanted for ritual killing and places beside him bodies of mutilated victim of ritual killing or write that he is either an armed robber wanted for serial robberies or he is wanted by the police for a rape case. Some of the victims including their former staff and loan defaulters told CrimeWorld magazine online that the company located at Ojodu Berger area of Lagos state with two Chinese managers gives out the short loans repayable within seven days without without recourse to the Central Bank of Nigeria approved lending percentage.
The company operates with about 35 Nigerian staff that are paid N60, 000 monthly while their team leaders earn N80, 000 every month. Their female staff are posted more in the customer service section while the male ones with some females work in the audit department. Sources who wants the Federal government and all security agencies including the Nigerian Immigration Service NIS to urgently beam their searchlight on this company said, their operational strategies starts after calling the randomly picked telephone numbers and sending links to those willing to apply adding that as soon as those that showed interest click the link, it will direct them to their app, apk, as they don’t have standard application. They will then fill in their information such as BVN, bank details, emergency contact etc and the app detects the contact list and SMS of the customer phone. Investigation revealed that after the 7-day repayment grace, their customers are expected to repay the loan and each customer has his or her own account details from the company app payable to the company’s bank account. However, defaulters are hastily made to suffer the worst humiliation and embarrassment by splashing their photographs through a public notice in the social media where an alert will be raised notifying the general public that the
fraudster, ritualist, HIV carrier or worse still, stating that, if she is a lady, she slept with dogs and contacted a deadly virus and if seen, he or her should be reported. Pictures of dogs are scanned and posted with that of their female defaulters.
Further checks revealed that, the company has been in this business for years and also collaborates with a Lotto company. One of their former staff who doesn’t want his name in prints claimed he left them after spending six months because of the ill-treatment meted on their staff adding. He said, “They use and abuse Nigerian staff recklessly. They tell their employees that the time for duty starts at 8.30 am and ends 5.30pm daily. However, the reverse is the case. In their bid to extort more money from Nigerians, we are forced to work till 9pm or more daily without other incentives. We are made to work from Mondays to Sundays, no day off.”
Further investigations showed that the company is not duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission CAC, hence the victims alleged that they hide the location of their company from members of the public especially, their customers.
According to the victims, they cannot reveal how they registered the over 50 SIM cards they use for transaction daily, who regulates their loan interests, how they get their SIM cards, saying; Worse still, we suspect that they must be paying security agents heavily because their activities are so much shrouded in secrecy and we are wondering why security agents have not beamed their searchlight on them.”
Another startling revelation is that the Chinese managers always order mobile policemen attached to them to physically flog any erring Nigerian staff publicly after which the person will be thrown out of their gate without any compensation. “What these Chinese do in Nigeria is horrible. We found out that they established similar company in Nigeria five years ago and had similar problem because of the illegal things they did and they were forced to flee the country after their atrocities blew open. However, after some years, they surreptitiously sneaked back into the country through a neighboring country and continued with their illegal deals without checks.
Sources hinted further that, these Chinese, according to investigations, control many other big companies but specialize in using their Nigerian companies to extort and exploit the citizens heavily. A discreet check into their registration documents showed that they were registered by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, in Abuja which claims to be the regulatory authority responsible for, among other things, the administration and enforcement of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Act, 2018. Two Nigerian names were used to register the company with their addresses and phone numbers. The company stated also both their local and dollar accounts details, interest rates and annual percentage rate. Information showed these are contrary to what they practice.
Furthermore, they stated clearly that they will not have access to customer’s call logs, contacts and gallery and this is contrary to what the company has been doing to their customers. When our reporter contacted the company, they insisted that questions should be sent to them first but after questions were forwarded through the WhatsApp number of their Managers, Jimmy and Ulla, they sent a Nigerian Lawyer and a female staff to meet and discuss with our reporter. The meeting which held twice ended in a deadlock as their representatives failed to submit answers to the questions earlier sent to them. Rather, they were verbally defending their clients and continued to lobby for the reporter to disclose his source of information without success.
Contacted, the Head, Communications of FCCPC in Abuja, Dominic Nyang couldn’t be reached but one of his aides said, “You may need to put it in writing for proper guidance. Write to the Registrar-General.” In the same vein, the Immigration office in Lagos was contacted about this Chineses and their activities and what we got was, “These people come into the country with names different from what they bear. You always see another name in their passport quite different from the name they bear. So, it is always very difficult to track and locate them but what we do is that, if we get bad informatio like yours, we get details and swoop on them.”
A source at the Lagos state police command, Ikeja who pleaded anonymity also assured that the Police will soon carry out investigations into their activities in the state adding that the Police had received several complaints about the notoriety of the company.
More Details About The Attrocities Of This Chinese Company On The Way…