Chennai

Seven arrested as police bust another loan fraud operation

Officers of the bank fraud prevention wing of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) on Thursday arrested seven suspects, including three women, for running a call centre and swindling money from thousands, on the pretext of arranging quick loans, based on documents such as bonds and insurance, for a commission. After the raid, the police have frozen ₹90 crore, parked in an insurance firm.

A special team of the police, on Wednesday evening, swooped down on the office, which was functioning under a fictitious name on the third floor of a commercial building. They raided the office for over four hours and rounded up telecallers and the main suspects behind them. They seized hard disks and mobile phones used by the accused.

“When the police officers landed on the premises, the mobile phones there were ringing without a break,” said Additional Deputy Commissioner K. Saravanakumar.

The callers used to entice customers by offering cheaper loans based on insurance documents and bonds. They would claim that they were calling from Goa, Bengaluru and Pune. The callers were also instructed by the main suspects to use fictitious names. They collected money from the customers on the pretext of investing in insurance. In some cases, they swindled money instead of investing as promised. The callers would then avoid calls from the victims who have paid money.

Muni Rathina, 32, came all the way from Hosur to lodge a complain with the city police, after the local police refused to take her complaint. Ms. Rathina said: “Last December, one of the callers promised to arrange ₹10 lakh. First they asked me to pay ₹20,000 for insurance and then ₹20,000 as commission.”

Shivaranjani, 33, of West Mambalam, paid ₹30,000 for a loan. She never got back the promised amount.

Suspected involvement

Four staff of an insurance firm are suspected to have been involved in the racket.

Assistant Commissioner of Police S. Prabakaran said, “More than 10 fake call centres functioning in Chittlapakkam, Velachery, Triplicane, Vepery, Nanganallur and Anna Salai were raided this year. So far, 27 suspects have been arrested. Our operations will continue against the centres and the fraudsters.”

The city police have asked SPs of districts to register cases if complaints are made by victims in the respective districts.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 3:03:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/seven-arrested-as-police-bust-another-loan-fraud-operation/article31053966.ece

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