Bihar police seek ban on over 100 gambling, gaming and illegal loan apps

The Economic Offences Unit cited violations of the IT Act and received multiple FIRs against these apps, urging the public to remain vigilant and avoid taking loans from unregistered platforms.
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

PATNA: Bihar police have approached the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) seeking a ban on more than 100 gambling/gaming and loan lending apps that are allegedly engaged in money laundering and pose a threat to the financial security of the country.

The Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar police recently approached MeitY urging it to ban more than 100 such apps, Nayyar Hasnain Khan, Additional Director General (ADG) of EOU (Bihar police) told PTI on Saturday.

“The decision was taken after confirming that these apps attract Section 69 of the Information Technology (IT) Act as they contain materials that are prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India. Several complaints had been received of extortion and harassment from people who had borrowed very small amounts through such loan lending apps,” Khan said.

Section 69A of the IT Act empowers the government to restrict access to any online content to protect the interest of sovereignty and integrity of the nation, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states and public order.

The EOU also received several FIRs registered against these apps and people associated with them in Arwal, Phulwari Sharif (Patna), Aurangabad and Jamui recently, the ADG said.

“It’s a serious offence and such digital lending, gaming and gambling apps must be banned as they pose a threat to the financial security of the country. We are keeping a strict vigil on the activities of online lending platforms. People should also remain alert about the activities of such apps. The EOU has been creating awareness among the masses about such apps and requests the public not to take any loans from unregistered or illegal loan apps available on the Internet and Playstore,” he said.

Explaining the modus operandi, the ADG said, “These loan apps on the pretext of advancing loan also access or hack all information from the customers’ phone. And that might be used by the accused company to perpetrate other financial crimes. Most of the time such apps harass the customer by charging not only a high rate of interest but by failure to repay the same, harass them by sending obscene materials to their contact list.”

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has already issued an advisory stating that since betting and gambling are illegal in most parts of the country, advertisements of these betting platforms, as well as their surrogates, are also illegal under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 2019, Cable TV Network Regulation Act 1995 and the IT Rules, 2021.

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