Chinese national detained for loan application racketeering in Chandigarh | Latest India News
A Chinese national with a visa that expired two years ago was among 21 people arrested by the Chandigarh Police Cybercrime Unit on Sunday for running a fast loan service based on a scam app that extorted money money to dozens of people after threatening to damage their reputation.
Police have named 34-year-old Chinese national Wan Chengua as the kingpin of a racketeering operation that operated a number of instant loan mobile apps. The racket was busted following a 10-day operation covering five states including Delhi-NCR region, Rajasthan, Bihar and Jharkhand. Most of the arrests took place around the nation’s capital.
“Wan Chengua is the main linchpin running this well organized racket through hired and specially trained young Indians,” said Ketan Bansal, Superintendent of Police, CCIC (Cyber Crime Investigation Cell), Chandigarh.
“During the investigation, it came to light that the alleged instant loan app was developed and run by Chinese people on servers based in China. The Chinese then hire young unemployed Indians with a specific salary for jobs in the call centers and train them to blackmail people through online loan applications.These recruited people call the victims and coerce them, blackmail them and threaten them to deposit money again and again,” said Bansal.
The mobile apps that these individuals operated were available on the Google Play Store as Hugo loan, Cashfree, Fly Cash, Cash Coin and AA Loan.
While Chengua was reportedly designated as the kingpin of the whole, operations in India were headed by a man named Parwej Alam, who went by the names of Jitu Bhadana and Sonu Bhadana. “Bhadana, 32, is India’s main kingpin. He studied up to class 10 and handled all areas of all online loan applications i.e. Hugo Loan, Cashfree, Fly Cash, Cash coin, AA Loan,” the officer added.
The police recovered Rs. 17.31 lakh which was extorted from the suspects.
On the modus operandi, police said the victims would be compromised once they installed the loan app on their cell phones, allowing access to their contact lists, camera and gallery of Pictures. Victims who legitimately took out a loan would face high charges, but even those who took no credit were blackmailed.
The extortion threats would mostly involve sending altered images and false allegations, including sexual assault, to the target’s contact lists.