Fake loan applications: LOC against pivots in China; Rs 6 crore deposited every three days | Bombay News
On Thursday, a watch circular (LOC) was prosecuted against two Chinese nationals and a few other foreigners – the creators and planners of as many as 200 bogus loan apps – after the 14 defendants identified them in photos recovered by cyberpolice from social media platforms.
In Mumbai alone, 29 cases have been recorded of loan app ‘collectors’ who extorted hundreds of thousands of euros from those who availed themselves of small loans by threatening or even circulating their photographs naked and their pornographic videos transformed among their telephone contacts and on social networks.
Police found 350 paper businesses – all registered in a residential building in Bengaluru – who opened 360 bank accounts using Aadhar and PAN card details that victims would share when applying for loans.
Those arrested had established at least four such paper companies. They were paid Rs 30,000 to Rs 35,000 per month for the use of their names as directors of these “companies”.
Cops said the arrested defendant would put the extortion money into those accounts. These funds would then be converted into cryptocurrency and transferred to China. Police said that for Rs 350 crore, around Rs 130 crore alone was received through the ‘Cash Free’ app operated by Malad’s Sneha Somani, which was in charge of loan disbursement.
The alleged kingpins – Luwenjie Andy and Crysten – operate from China. Liyang Sheng (39), one of the arrested defendants, is said to have run some paper companies in Bengaluru. “The Chinese nationals met Liyang in Bangalore and he helped them set up paper companies under the names Water Elephant Financial Services and Methitech Private Ltd using fake documents,” police said.
Cops said they cracked the loan racket pyramid. “Planning and execution began in 2018, two years before the Covid outbreak. These Chinese masterminds left India in 2020 after building the foundations of racketeering in metros, then jumping to Tier 2 cities They started with small call centers and employed people who worked shifts with appropriate salaries and incentives.In addition, the racketeer paid high rent to the building in Bengaluru for the use of its address and location. its premises to display company nameplates,” a police official said.
The police learned from the 14 defendants that at least 1,000 transactions, ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 each, would be credited daily to a single account. “The arrested persons said in each of the 360 accounts, the statement balance shows Rs 6 crore to Rs 7 crore every three days. The money was used to buy cryptocurrency and kept in crypto wallets, this which facilitates the transfer of funds abroad,” the official said.
Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar supervised Police Co-Commissioner (Crime) Suhas Warke who led a team of DCP (cyber) Hemraj Singh Rajput, Senior Inspector Suvarna Shinde, Inspector Prakash Warke and Cyber Detection Team to learn suo motu of the 29 cases in 2022 After a breakthrough, the first defendant to be arrested was Sudhakar Reddy (25) on June 26; the 14th arrest took place on July 13.