₹ 8,000 crore circulated through loan apps

Experts arrive at the figure after analysing data of 1.4 crore transactions, say police

January 05, 2021 09:08 pm | Updated January 06, 2021 10:54 am IST - Hyderabad

Laptops, mobile phones seized from Chinese nationals arrested by CCB for online loan apps fraud

Laptops, mobile phones seized from Chinese nationals arrested by CCB for online loan apps fraud

Investigation into unearthing the money trail in app-based loan companies has revealed that ₹ 8,000 crore was circulated through these apps.

A leading Chinese web hosting company, owned by an e-commerce pioneer, appears to have provided hosting services to app-based loan companies, which are in the eye of the storm, following at least five persons in Telanganna being pushed to end their life.

The financial experts and data analysts who were poring through 1.40 crore transactions involving nearly ₹ 21,000 crore have estimated that the actually circulated amount was ₹8,000 crore.

“This could be much higher if all the companies behind the loan apps were tracked, a task which is underway,” said a police officer associated with the investigation of the case. He said that multiple transactions involving the same loan account were squared off.

The police are also probing if these transactions were meant only for loan disbursement and repayment or if there were any other reasons, including money circulation or hawala.

“This is just the volume of transactions provided by the Razorpay gateway pertaining to only a few firms. We have asked Paytm and other e-wallet companies to provide the transactions through their gateway,” the investigator said.

Further he said that the recovery call centres in Hyderabad, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Pune and other places in the country used the Voice-over Internet Protocols (VoIP) instead of a regular phone line to call or threaten the borrowers.

The companies made spoofing calls to the borrowers to deliberately send false information to change the caller ID.

“At a call centre in Bengaluru, we found call routing boxes with prepaid SIM cards loaded, which was used to call the customers and harass them for recovery,” the officer said, adding that the centre heads used WeChat and other applications to communicate with their ‘Chinese bosses’.

Lambo erased data

Arrested Chinese national, Zhu Wei alias Lambo, who headed the overall operations of the four loan app firms in India, is reported to have deleted all the data pertaining the companies operations stored in his personal laptop. However, the Hyderabad Cyber Crime police seized his laptop and have retrieved the entire data and mirrored it.

So far, they have seized over 1,600 laptops and desktops in connection with the cases.

“We will lift the corporate veil,” the officer said, adding that efforts are on to unmask the real promoters.

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