Hyderabad, December 23: In a major crackdown, 19 persons were arrested from the cities of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Gurugram in connection to the loan apps racket. The arrests were made by sleuths of the Hyderabad and Cyberabad police, who traced the operators of call centres involved with the functioning of unauthorised digital lending platforms.
The mobile apps, which are suspected to be fraudulent, drew high number of users in the lockdown period when scores of Indians were in need of loans, reports said. They are accused of charging an exorbitant rate of interest, and allegedly subjecting the borrowers to abuse and harassment over non-payment of dues. Hyderabad Shocker: 28-Year-Old Software Engineer Dies by Suicide After being Publicly Humiliated by Financiers over Non-Repayment of Loan Worth Rs 2 Lakh.
Three persons reportedly killed themselves in Telangana due to the harassment by the call centre personnel linked to such apps. Following their suicides, a nationwide crackdown was launched. The Bangalore CID is also involved in the operation to nab the fraudsters as the five call centres involved in the racket are being operated from Bengaluru.
More arrests could be made in the days to come, as it is suspected that victims in other parts of the nation are yet to come forward and register their complaints. The police personnel, while speaking to TOI, said the ED and I-T Departments could also get involved in the probe as the fraud racket runs into several crores and could involve fraudsters from China.
The Reserve Bank of India has issued a caution, warning borrowers against taking loans from such mobile apps. Those seeking the loan are asked to ensure that the platforms offering the amount to them are authorised by the regulators.
"Members of public are hereby cautioned not to fall prey to such unscrupulous activities and verify the antecedents of the company/firm offering loans online or through mobile apps," the central bank said.