In a major operation, the Delhi Police have busted a multi-crore Chinese loan Application fraud and extortion racket and arrested eight people from different parts of the country, an official said on Sunday.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (IFSO) K.P.S. Malhotra told IANS that the accused were allegedly extorting and abusing innocent people in the name of providing and repaying loans.
Sharing complete details of the case, the DCP said a complaint was lodged at the IFSO unit of the Special Cell by a woman alleging that she was being abused and threatened by some unknown persons who were sending her morphed and vulgar photographs to her family, friends and relatives through social media.
“The complainant had taken a loan from one Loan App, namely Cash Advance (Danakredit), she repaid the same in time. But after repaying the said amount she started getting threat calls and messages on WhatsApp from Cash Advance employees,” the senior official said.
It was further observed by the complainant that the alleged scamsters were using the profile picture of a highly ‘senior police officer’.
Accordingly, the police registered a case under sections 354A, 509, 384, 385, 419, 420 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code at the Special Cell police station and initiated an investigation.
During the probe, money trails of alleged transactions were established and it was found that the money was being transferred in a current account which had been opened in the name of Balaji Technology. Further it was found that the name of Balaji technology was used at a shop of motorcycle repair. The proprietor of the account was found in the name of Rohit Kumar, a resident of Rajeev Nagar, Delhi.
It was further found that in the alleged account approximately Rs 8.45 crore were credited in just 15 days and the same was transferred to other accounts simultaneously.
Subsequently, the police on March 13 conducted coordinated raids at Pitampura and Rohini in Delhi from where accused persons, namely Rohit Kumar, Vividh Kumar, Puneet and Manish were arrested and the mobile numbers and devices used in the crime were also recovered from them.
Further on the instance of arrested accused persons, Puneet Kumar, his wife Divya who was also found involved in the case were arrested. Later on the next day, accused Krishana alias Ravi Shankar was arrested from Jodhpur, Rajasthan on March 14.
“He was the main mastermind in India. It was further found that all the cheated amounts are being sent to China through cryptocurrency by accused Krishana. Crypto accounts of three Chinese nationals have been identified where the cheated amount was sent through cryptocurrency,” DCP Malhotra said.
During further investigation, another raid was conducted at Gurugram, Haryana and one accused, namely Sumit was arrested, who used to make calls to victims through a fraudulently obtained WhatsApp number. His arrest led to another accused namely Kartik Panchal alias Deepak, who was the team leader, running a team of callers who used to make calls to the victims. It was found that the accused persons were morphing the pictures of women and even putting nudity.
During the interrogation of all the accused, it was found that if a needed person wanted to take some loan through the Apps available online, he had to download the said App first. At the time of downloading, the App asks for permission to capture, contact list, photo gallery and other personal data of the phone of the loan seeker.
As soon as the permission was granted by the loan seeker, all their data got transferred to the Chinese servers. Once this process was completed, the fraudsters immediately got the loan amount transferred in the account of the loan seeker. One team used to track such loan seekers and another would call the loan seekers and their associates like relative friends, etc., through different mobile numbers to refund the money from the loan seeker. Even after refunding of the money, the alleged accused used to extort more money from the loan seeker and also started sharing the morphed vulgar photos of the loan seeker to his family, relatives and friends to pressurise the victims to pay more money.
The second team of the gang used to manage the financial transactions. After receiving the extortion amount in the bank, the accused used to transfer the money to their masters who are sitting in China, Hong Kong, Dubai and Nepal after converting into cryptocurrency. All the gang members were getting their share according to their role and their performance.
The DCP informed that investigation of the case was in progress and more victims and other members of the syndicate were being identified.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)