Instant loan app scam: Telangana cops file indictment against Chinese apps

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The police investigation revealed that Rs 21,000 crore had been transferred from India to China via Indonesia.

Hyderabad Cybercrime Police have filed a charge sheet in the Instant Loan Enforcement case, where Chinese nationals allegedly siphoned Rs.21,000 crore from several people as loan collection. Telangana Police opened the investigation in December 2020 after six offenders committed suicide due to alleged harassment by loan app companies. Police had recorded 30 separate cases and charged 31 people and arrested 28 people, including three Chinese nationals, in connection with the loan application fraud. Loan applications have granted loans ranging from Rs 1000 to Rs a few lakh to those in need with minimum KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements.

However, they charged high interest rates and processing fees. The apps, once installed, had access to all phone contacts, gallery, and other sensitive information. Those who failed were subjected to inhuman harassment by salvage officers. Some were humiliated in front of friends and acquaintances with messages indicating that the victim had “cheated” on someone and not believing them. Others have seen their photos transformed and shared on social media as blackmail. Telangana Police have found as many as 211 app lending companies operating on app game stores.

An investigation by TNM found that these applications operated in India through a network of shell companies with no real address. Telangana police had arrested three Chinese nationals Yi Bai, Zhu Wei alias Lambo and Liang Tian Tian in connection with the New Delhi cases. Police only added Lambo’s name in the preliminary indictment, to prevent him from getting bail and escaping the country, The Hindu reported. A further indictment will be filed after analysis of computer equipment seized by the State Forensic Science Laboratory, The Times of India reported.

Read: Made in China: How the racketeering of instant loan apps exploded in India

Read: The list of “instant loan” crooks: Chinese landlords, Indian attorneys and ghost addresses

The police investigation revealed that the gang had carried out transactions of 1.4 crore for an amount of Rs 21,000 crore. Funds extorted from victims of loan applications were channeled to Indonesia, then to Shanghai in China, and proceeds from loan applications were said to have been diverted for investments in the Virgin Islands, The New Indian Express reported.


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