Four people detained at Dwarka in Delhi for loan application fraud | Latest Delhi News

Delhi police said on Wednesday they arrested four people for allegedly staging an extortion scheme with two Chinese nationals using loan applications to blackmail people into turning their photographs.

Deputy Police Commissioner (External) Brijendra Yadav identified the suspects by their first names as Anil, 35, the alleged mastermind of the racketeering, Alok, 24, Avnish, 22, and Kannan, 35.

Police said a grievance was filed on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal on July 14 and earlier on May 28 by Himanshu Goel, a resident of Narela, who alleged he was lured by an advertisement on a website of social media, which claimed to provide hassle-free loans of up to 50,000 via an “On Stream” application. When Goel downloaded the app, he requested access to his contacts, gallery, and other media on the phone, which he allowed.

Subsequently, he only obtained a loan of 6,870. However, alleged app reps began harassing him to repay the loan at high interest rates and threatening to post his morphed photographs on social media. Even after finally paying 1 lakh for them, the representatives continued to harass him, he told the police.

Based on the complaint, the police said they registered a case and started investigating the case.

During the investigation, the police used technical surveillance to track down the culprits near Ramphal Chowk in Dwarka. Police found the suspects had been operating a call center on the first, third and fourth floor of a building in Sector 7 in Dwarka for two years. “We raided the premises and found that the union employed 134 female telephone operators, 15 male callers and three team leaders. It was led by Anil, who is the brains behind it,” DCP Yadav said.

The investigation revealed that the suspects purchased 300 SIM cards in the name of a company Silpani International and used 100 of these SIM cards to send derogatory WhatsApp messages to coerce victims into complying with their extortion threats. The other 200 SIM cards had already been marked as spam and rejected.

Police say the suspects have so far siphoned off 10 crore to two Chinese people identified only by the names “Mr. Albert and Mr. Trey”. The suspects also won approximately 3 crore commission since March 2021, police said, adding that the suspects used to keep in touch with their Chinese counterparts using the multilingual DingTalk app.

Police said the callers threatened people and blackmailed them with altered photographs of themselves and loved ones. Victims would then pay the requested amount. However, the police have not yet determined how many people they have defrauded so far.

Police said they also asked all 149 staff to join the investigation.

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