Loan app thugs blown up by Tamil Nadu police, 4 including two Chinese nationals arrested

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Two Chinese nationals and an equal number of Indian nationals were arrested for allegedly running instant loan apps in Chennai, police said on Saturday.

An investigation based on a complaint found that the main suspect of operating out of China was Chennai Central Crime Branch.

The two Indians had operated the call center out of Bengaluru and employed over 100 people to provide quick online loans.

The complainant stated that he was in an extreme financial crisis due to the lockdown triggered by the pandemic and that he learned about “M Rupee”, an instant credit app, through advertising on social media.

The complainant borrowed Rs 5,000 rupees, on which Rs 1,500 was taken as interest and Rs 3,500 was credited to his account. However, the complainant had to pay 2 percent interest on 100 rupees and at one point received warnings for repayment at a higher interest rate.

Police said each employee had been asked to approve instant loans to at least 10 people in a week and threatened to be fired if they didn’t.

The Chinese nationals ran the call center with the support of the two Indians.

All of them were arrested in Bengaluru on December 31, 2020 and January 1, 2021, according to Chennai Police Commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal.

The arrest came after the complainant found that he had been subjected to agony, abuse, threats and harassment by the online credit app companies for repayment with higher interest rates, the commissioner said in a press release.

It was also announced that another Chinese citizen was the head of the call center called True Kindle Technology Private Limited and was operating out of China.

“We are investigating whether the Chinese offer credit apps only for India,” the commissioner said.

Recently, there have been many cases of app-based funders harassing borrowers for repayments, resulting in suicides.

Modus operandi

The Indian nationals – Pramoda and Pravan – ran the call center from Bengaluru and employed 110 people who loaned money through nine different apps.

Their approach was to find people in need, lend them money in high-yield yields, and then threaten to pay them, police said.

Pramoda and Pavan allegedly confessed to working for two Chinese men, Xiao Yamao and Wu Yuanlun. All four were arrested and taken to Chennai and taken into custody.

Aside from M Rupee, My Cash, Aurora Loan, Quick Loan, Dmoney, Rapid Loan, Easy Cash, New Rupee, and Rupee Loan were the eight apps they ran. These apps were developed by a tech geek named Nutham Ram.

The two Chinese men also allegedly informed the police of the involvement of a person named Hong, who appears to be the mastermind behind the entire scam.

(With PTI inputs)

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