Hyderabad Police file charge sheet in ₹30,000-cr money lending racket
The Hyderabad Cybercrime police on Friday filed a charge sheet in connection with ₹30,000-crore online money lending racket, allegedly based out of China. Police also said that so far 28 persons have been arrested in the case, including the prime accused Zhu Wei, alias Lambo, and three other Chinese nationals. The kingpin of the racket, Zixia Zhang alias Jennifer, was still absconding, the charge sheet said.
According to the Cybercrime police, the racket was busted in December 2020 and subsequently, the accused were arrested over a period of four months.
In the charge sheet, the police said the modus operandi of the gang, operated from Shanghai in China, was to offer instant loans through mobile applications to individuals. Several instant loan applications including Loan Gram, Cash Train, Cash Bus, AAA Cash, Super Cash, Mint Cash, Happy Cash, Loan Card, Repay One, Money Box and Monkey Box were hosted on Google PlayStore, police said.
Explaining the modus operandi, police said once customers installed the app, the company would get access to all contacts and other data from the mobile phone. They would then transfer loan amount to borrowers after deducting 25% to 30%, police said.
The racket also set up four call centres in India and hired executives to collect exorbitant repayments from the borrowers after adding interest, processing charges, GST, and default charges, police said, adding that the racket would charge 1% penalty after expiry of the loan period.
“These executives resorted to systematic abusing, harassing, and threatening defaulters through call centres run by them. They even blackmail the borrowers by sending fake legal notices to their relatives and family members,” the police said.
The racket lured hundreds of borrowers in the Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, apart from Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai, by offering lakhs in loans on hefty interests. “In Telangana, seven people died by suicide after they were unable to bear the harassment of these online lending agencies,” police said.
The Cybercrime police told the court that the total transactions indulged in by the accused ran into around ₹30,000 crore. “They made a profit of around ₹11,000 crore, which they diverted to benami accounts,” the Cybercrime police said in the charge sheet.
The accused have been booked under sections 420 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Section 66 of the IT Act-2008, and sections 3, 10 and 13(1) of the Telangana Money Lenders Act.