App-based money lending: Hyd cops probe Chinese role

App-based money lending atrocities: Hyderabad police probe Chinese role

Telangana police issued notice to Google asking it to take down such applications because of their criminal activities

Raids at the corporate-style centres resulted in the seizure of about 700 laptops, servers, computer systems. Credit: DH Photo

The Hyderabad police suspect that Chinese nationals are steering unauthorised, app-based money lending activities in India.

The constant harassment by the agents of these online loan sharks to repay at exorbitant interest rates, has resulted in the death by suicide of at least three people in Telangana, including a techie in Hyderabad last week.

Following the deaths and numerous such complaints from other victims, the Telangana police swung into action and raided two locations in Udyog Vihar, Gurgram and three spots in Hyderabad where organised telecaller centres are operating to persuade, harass and intimidate loan defaulters.

Raids at the corporate-style centres resulted in the seizure of about 700 laptops, servers, computer systems etc. The centres at Hyderabad employed nearly 600 telecallers and while at Gurgram, there are about 500 employees. 

“Going by the evidence till now, this racket is not confined to Hyderabad or the National Capital Region. There are connections to Jakarta, Indonesia and even links to some Chinese. A Chinese national visited Hyderabad 2-3 months back to set up the activities and went back. In our NCR raids, we have seized a copy of a Chinese passport,” Anjani Kumar, Hyderabad city police commissioner told reporters on Tuesday.

The call centres raided are functioning on behalf of four companies – Liufang Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Hotful Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Pinprint Technologies and Nabloom Technologies Pvt. Ltd., with suspected registered offices at Bangalore.

The Hyderabad police arrested important executives of the call centres.

“Instructions are received from their heads in Indonesia. The entire operation of these loan apps appears to be run with Chinese nationals at the helm. This was also indicated during the investigation into the multi-crore colour prediction gaming app scam where crores of rupees were transferred to shell companies registered as NBFCs,” the commissioner said.  

“Further investigation is on to uncover the web of financial transactions, funding, technology base etc,” Kumar said.

Meanwhile, Cyberabad police commissioner VC Sajjanar announced the arrest of six people in connection with operations of instant loan apps named Cash Mama, Loan zone and Dhana Dhan which are linked to Onion Credit Pvt. Ltd and Credfox Technologies Pvt. Ltd., based in Hyderabad.

Sharath Chandra, CEO & Director of Onion Credit & Cred Fox is among the arrested persons.