Hyderabad police arrest Bangalore duo operating loan app call center

More than a year after Telangana police began cracking down on loan app companies that tormented defaulters with heavy interest, abusive appeals, these businesses are still thriving.

Hyderabad Police last week arrested two people residing in Bangalore, Shabbir Alam and Umakanth Yadav, who were running such a call center in Koramangala named Skylinks Technology Private Limited.

Like several other app-based loan shark companies, Skylinks is also backed by a Chinese national. The mastermind in this case Chen Chaoping is in China, police said.

Chinese national Chaoping previously operated a loan application call center Golden Bag Technologies Private Limited in Bangalore. Alam worked as a supervisor and Yadav as an IT manager in this center. In 2020, on suspicion of arrests by police who began investigating fraud and loan application crimes, Chaoping returned to China, shutting down the call center.

But after some time, Chaoping contacted Alam and Yadav, asking them to run a call center by introducing new loan apps designed by him named Ocean Rupee, Life Wallet, Maloo Wallet, Elephant cash, Box Cash and Dutta, hosted on Google Play Store.

The accused hired about 100 callers and opened a new call center in Koramangala and trained the callers to extort money from the victims.

“When innocent people download these apps, the permissions for gallery, contact list and location access are obtained by the app. These are needed to provide loan for a short period of time, otherwise whereupon the borrower has to pay very large interest. When the person is unable to repay the monies, the defendants post their photos on social media platforms transforming their photos. Threatening calls are also made,” an official said. of Hyderabad Police Cybercrime.

In the present case, the police acted on a complaint from a 30-year-old woman from Hyderabad in December.

“Rethibowli’s wife said that she took out loans from different loan applications amounting to Rs two lakhs and after seven days she started receiving threatening and abusive calls from different WhatsApp numbers. Calls were also made to his colleagues, relatives. The callers threatened to give his number to 500 different men,” police said.

Alam (36), Director of Skylinks, is from Rourkela, Odisha and Yadav (30) is the Additional Director and is from Mau, Uttar Pradesh.

Police seized 19 cell phones, 63 laptops and two debit cards.

“The public is once again warned not to download unauthorized lending apps that steal confidential information from your phone,” a senior official said.

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