Cyberabad police in Hyderabad on Friday busted another online money lending racket and arrested four people including a Chinese national, in addition to freezing a bank account with deposits of Rs 2 crore.
Among those arrested were Yi Bai alias Dennis, a Delhi resident and originally from Jiangxi in Shanghai, southwest China, Satyapal Khyalia, a Delhi resident and originally from Sikhar in Rajasthan, Anirudh Malhotra, originally from Rajasthan and Murathoti Richie Hemanth Seth, from Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh.
“The main defendant – Zixia Zhang, a Chinese national and Umpathi alias Ajay – is still at large,” Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjannar told reporters.
Sajjannar said Zixia Zhang, the linchpin of the whole racket, set up two companies – Digipeergo Tech Pvt Ltd and Sky Line Innovation Technology Pvt Ltd”, in December 2019 with the help of Singapore-based sister company Xikai. Holding Pte Ltd.
They have developed 11 instant loan apps – Loan Gram, Cash Train, Cash Bus, AAA Cash, Super Cash, Mint Cash, Happy Cash, Loan Card, Repay One, Money Box and Monkey box – and hosted them on Google Play Store .
These applications offer loans to individuals. Once customers install the apps, the company has access to all contacts and other data on the mobile phone. Borrowers are transferred loan amount after deduction between 25 percent and 30 percent.
They set up four call centers in various locations in India and hired executives to collect the refunds which would be huge including interest, handling charges, GST, default charges. After the loan period is over, they charge a 1% penalty.
“These executives use systematic abuse, harassment and threats against defaulters through call centers they manage. They even blackmail borrowers by sending bogus legal notices to their relatives and family members,” Sajjannar said.
The Commissioner said a detailed investigation was being carried out by the Cyberabad Police to find out the source of the funds. “The companies were not related or entered into an agreement with the NBFCs. We are trying to find the funding sources,” Sajjanar told reporters.
He said police seized four laptops, four mobile phones and froze a bank account with deposits worth Rs 2 crore. He asked people to contact Cyberabad police if they are being harassed by illegal micro-finance companies.