Telangana

Loan App: Freeze on ₹100 crore in 27 accounts, one more held

Chinese national Zhu Wei alias Lambo, who is an accused in the loan app fraud.  

Continuing their probe into the alleged financial irregularities by the app-based instant loan companies, Hyderabad Cyber Crime police arrested a woman who headed a recovery call centre in Bengaluru.

The accused, 31-year-old Keerthi of ANNIU Technology Private Limited, had employed over 200 telecallers for recovery of loan amount, the police said.

With this the total number of people arrested by the Hyderabad police in connection with loan app cases rose to 17, which include a 27-year-old Chinese national Zhu Wei alias Lambo from Jiangxi.

They have also identified that the firm was routing the money earned in India to China through designated bank accounts in Indonesia. In December last week, the investigators arrested one K. Eswar, who worked in the administrative section of ANNIU.

“Last time Keerthi managed to slip from our clutches. We had information about her role in the firm,” an officer associated with the investigation of the case said.

₹100 crore in banks

The police have now identified 55 app-based loan companies operating countrywide, from mere four in the last fortnight, and had put on freeze ₹ 100 crore in 27 different bank accounts.

Unfolding the maze of loan apps, Hyderabad Additional Commissioner of Police (Crimes and SIT) Shikha Goel said on a preliminary investigation it was found that a couple of people, including those arrested, were seen acting as directors in multiple companies.

Speaking to The Hindu, she said that they have also identified links between online gaming apps and the loan apps. “One of the loan companies in question is registered with the same address on which a gaming firm is also registered at the Registrar of Companies,” the officer said. According to her, a Chinese national Yuan Yuan alias Sissi alias Jennifer was the person who had set up operations in India and is presently abroad. “Yuan has left India long back. She is the mastermind behind the entire network in Hyderabad and elsewhere in the country.”

Google asked

Further, Ms. Goel said that they have identified 280 loan applications on Google Playstore and asked Alphabet Inc., which owns Google, to take down these apps as the companies operating them were found harassing and defaming the borrowers.

“Initially, the number of applications which we had asked to block were 69, now it has increased 280. As and when such apps come to our notice, we will inform Google,” the officer said.

Local Translators

Meanwhile, the investigators are also trying to trace the local translators of Wei and Yuan, who accompanied them for their meetings in India. They had different translators in Hyderabad, Gurugram and Bengaluru.

“As of now we came to know that one Indrajeet was the interpreter for Wei in Delhi. We are trying to approach him as his statement can be of value in the case,” an officer said, adding that Wei cannot speak English and understands very little English.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 3:26:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/loan-app-freeze-on-100-crore-in-27-accounts-one-more-held/article33495258.ece

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