Telangana police bust instant loan apps scam; Chinese among 4 arrested

According to police, the perpetrators had launched 11 instant loan apps through which they offered loans to individuals by deducting 25-30% claiming that was for GST and processing fee.

Telangana police raided a call centre and busted instant loan mobile app scam. Photo: Twitter

Telangana’s Cyberabad police have arrested four persons, including a Chinese national, in connection with the instant loan apps scam.

On Friday (December 25), Cyberabad police commissioner VC Sajjanar said the mastermind behind the scam is Zixia Zhang, a Chinese national, who is currently in Singapore.

Chinese national Yi Bai alias Dennis, a resident of Delhi, Satyapal Khyalia, Anirudh Malhotra, and Murathoti Richie Hemanth Seth are the persons arrested, the Cyberabad police said.

Also read: Complaints pour in against loan apps; Telangana, AP cops issue warning

A call centre of Cubevo Technology Private Limited, a subsidiary of Skyline Innovations Technologies India Private Limited, was raided by the police on Friday. The company was set up by Zhang and a person named Umapati in Haryana’s Gurugram. They also started one more company Digipeerogo Tech Private Limited.

According to the police, through Digipeerogo, 11 instant loan applications were launched. Loans were offered to individuals through the apps by deducting 25-30 per cent and later  the customers were harassed. Also, the company threatened them with fake legal notices, sharing their morphed images and calling them “cheats”.

“The mobile apps were developed in a way that on installing the apps the company gets access to all contacts and other data from the mobile phone. The borrowers were transferred loan amount after deducting between 25 per cent and 30 per cent of the loan amount,” Sajjanar said.

Also read: RBI raps lending apps, NBFCs for harassing customers

The apps used for the scam were Loan Gram, Cash Train, Cash Bus, AAA Cash, Super Cash, Mint Cash, Happy Cash, Loan Card, Repay One, Money Box and Monkey box, the police said.

Earlier, on December 22, the cyber crime police station, Cyberabad, had arrested six persons over fake loan apps Cash Mama and Loan zone.

Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar said, “On December 7, our team received a complaint at the cyber crime police station of Cyberabad in which the plaintiff stated that because of his financial needs, he searched on play store and downloaded a loan app. He also uploaded his Aadhar card, PAN card, self-authentication photograph and bank statement of three months. Based on this, he was given ₹5,000 as loan for a seven-day period after an amount of ₹1,180 was deducted claiming that was for GST and processing fees. Only ₹3,820 was credited to his bank account.

“He took loans similarly six times from the same app. After that, he received calls from different mobile numbers and they suggested he avail of loans from various other loan apps. Believing them, he took a total of ₹30,000 loan, but instead of ₹30,000, he received only ₹20,000 from January 1 to September 21.

“After that, he paid a total loan amount of ₹29,000. The loan did not get cleared till date and they still ask him to pay a total amount to their different apps. The accused harassed, blackmailed and threatened him with dire consequences and also accessed his entire contact list and started contacting his family members through WhatsApp and used abusive and filthy language,” he said.

After a complaint was registered, the police investigated the case and six persons were arrested. Three laptops, three desktops, and 22 mobile phones were seized from them. The police said 18 bank accounts with a total amount of ₹1.52 crore have been frozen.