3 detained for extorting money from people using loan apps with links to China

Three gang members have been arrested for extorting money from people using short-term loan applications with suspected ties to China, police said on Saturday.

The defendants were identified as Ravi Kumar Pankaj (28), a resident of Rajasthan, Javed Raza Ansari (30), a resident of Delhi, and Vikas Yadav (19), a resident of Uttar Pradesh. they stated.

On June 22, a woman filed a complaint, alleging she wanted money and downloaded an app to take out a short-term loan, police said.

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Despite repaying her loan amount when due, the woman began receiving phone calls from debt collectors who used abusive language and threatened to pay them, a senior officer said. the police.

During the investigation, bank account transactions linked to the suspect mobile phone numbers were analyzed, police said.

Police discovered that the fraudsters had downloaded a random company’s documents from the Internet and used them to open an online settlement account on a payment gateway and aggregator, the officer said.

They then linked Pankaj’s bank account to which the money was credited by the complainant, police said.

All transactions in the account were verified and it was found that in a single day, a transaction of Rs 19.43 crore was made. The amount was then transferred to other entities, the officer said.

Pankaj was later arrested in Rajasthan on July 4, police said.

Pankaj told police that he used to sell bank accounts and that he sold five such accounts at the rate of Rs 15,000 per account to a man named Manish Mehra who then sold them to Ansari. Ansari was later arrested on Monday, Deputy Police Commissioner (External) Sameer Sharma said.

During questioning, Ansari revealed that he had provided the details of these accounts to a Malaysian national, who contacted him via the Telegram app, police said.

Ansari was also found in contact with Yadav for buying and selling the bank accounts. Yadav, sold seven bank accounts to Ansari and was later arrested on Tuesday, they said.

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It has been found that many short-term loan applications handled by Chinese people are available on Play Store. These apps lend money instantly to anyone for a period of seven days, police said.

These applications gain access to the personal data of the loan seeker before granting them a loan. After taking out a loan, 25% of the total amount is deducted as a processing fee and if the remaining amount is not paid within seven days, interest and penalties together increase the repayment to 200% of the loan amount , police said.

If the money is not paid, call centers operating in neighboring countries like Nepal threaten the victims to leak their personal details and make abusive comments to their phone contacts they have access to as the permission has was given by the plaintiff when downloading the app, police said.

These apps require Indian bank accounts to resume payments. The defendants are looking for people like Ansari and Yadav to arrange such bank accounts for them, police said.

However, the kingpin behind this fraud operates from Hong Kong and efforts are being made to track IP addresses and catch the main culprit behind this cyber fraud, police said, adding that four mobile phones, four SIM cards and seven checks from books of various bank accounts were recovered there.

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