Odisha CB arrests Delhi airport accused, 1000 virtual accounts blocked
The Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Crime Branch has arrested Ram Shriram Pathade, Managing Director of Mahagram Payments Pvt. Ltd in connection with the App illegal lending case. Pathade, a resident of Sonam Heights, Mumbai, was arrested at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Wednesday.
The accused, in connivance with Md. Javed Sahifi, the director of IWT-India, Tarun Kumar Dudeja, owner of several dubious companies/fronts like Digital Batua, Bacchat Online and others, was involved in app trading illegal/abusive digital lending. like KOKO and JOJO ready without any authorization. These companies would provide instant digital loans to people in need.
Co-defendants Md. Javed Saifi, the owner of IWT-India, and Tarun Kumar Dudeja were arrested earlier in this case and an amount of approximately Rs 6.57 crore lies in the accounts of M/s Mahagram Payment Pvt. ltd. was frozen.
“Once the application was downloaded, small sums ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 were then credited to the customer’s bank account. Within a week, the client/borrower was asked to repay the amount with excessive interest rate. By refusing to pay the high interest rate, the affected customer has been humiliated/intimidated in several ways,” EOW said in a statement.
According to EOW, obscene messages and indecent images along with abusive texts were also sent to customers’ WhatsApp numbers and their contact list as a coercive measure to recover the loan amount with interest. The recovery process is so overbearing and humiliating that there have been instances of clients committing suicide.
“Defendant’s company was lending money from its payment account managed with a payment gateway. But for repayment by borrowers, the amount was remitted through other companies/screen accounts but eventually landed at Mahagrama Payments Pvt Ltd,” EOW said.
It has been established that there are approximately 1058 such virtual accounts created by M/s Mahagram Payments Pvt. ltd. through which repayment amounts from borrowers are channeled through a payment gateway. All virtual accounts have been blocked.