Pune police arrest instant loan apps call centers, 18 detained
Pune Cyber Police have arrested 18 people in the credit app harassment case. Up to 4,778 Punekar residents have filed cases with the Pune Cyber Police since 2020 related to harassment, threats and abuse by credit app employees.
Earlier, cyber police blew up a Kredit App call center in Bengaluru in a case where members of the Kredit App gang tried to extort a sum from €1.11 lakh from a woman on August 16th. Action is being taken against the organized loan app syndicate amid central government agencies run by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are taking strict action against groups that abuse and extort gullible citizens under the guise of instant loans. Cyber police nearly confiscated €69 lakh from these scammers while operations are ongoing to uncover the masterminds behind the scam.
Previously, Viignesh Manjunath, Ganesh Subbaraidu, Akash MV, Shraddha Sudhakar Gowda, Parvati Santosh Das, Ashwini D Murugan, Shilpa Subhash Gowda, Priya S and Deepika L – all Bengaluru residents – were arrested by Cyber Police on charges of extortion, fraud, defamation and intimidation under the Information Technology (IT) Act. Nine others have now been arrested including Syed Aquib Pasha, Mubarak Afroz Baig, Swapnil Hanumant Nagtilak, Srikrushna Bhimanna Gaikwad, Dhiraj Bharat Punekar, Pramod James Ransingh, Samuel Sampat Kumar, Mujeeb Baraband Kandiyal and Mohammad Maniyat.
Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta said: “In our estimation, around 1 lakh Punekars were harassed by credit app scammers during the year. The gang operates at a highly professional level and have dedicated teams to get the job done. One team works on the ground floor while the other takes care of bank accounts. There is a separate team for data collection and call center operations. Two cases have been filed in the city so far, and an average of 25 people a day have contacted the police complaining of harassment by loan app reps for the past two months.”
The police briefed the court on the modus operandi of these scammers, saying that there are several rental apps on the “Playstore” where people simply have to download and accept all the terms, giving the apps access to their personal information. The loan providers charge a high interest rate and when someone fails to repay or defaults, the harassment begins with the loan app representatives calling or texting all of the contacts of the said person. These scammers gain access to victims’ personal information, including contact lists, personal photos, and videos. Even in cases where people don’t take out loans, the loan app employees transform their pictures with obscene content and circulate them among friends and family. They blackmail and extort money from the victims by asking them to deposit the amount into various bank accounts via online transactions.