Six including directors of 2 online lending firms arrested in Hyderabad

·2-min read

Hyderabad, Dec 22 (PTI): Six people including directors of two city-based instant online loan app firms were arrested here on Tuesday following allegations of harassment, blackmailing and threatening a man who had borrowed loan from them, police said.

These firms were offering small loan amounts with different apps for a period of seven days and were collecting 35 per cent interest rate per annum and indulged in harassment and blackmailing while collecting repayments, police said.

On December 7, the man in a complaint to police said that due to his financial needs he had availed loan of Rs 30,000 from the instant app-based lenders between January to September this year but received only Rs 20,000 amount after deduction of various charges including processing fees, they said.

The man said he had repaid a total loan amount of Rs 29,000 but the online loan firms asked him to pay another Rs 8,634 and started harassing, blackmailing and also threatened him with dire consequences over the non-repayment of the remaining amount, police said.

The firms also accessed his entire contact list and started contacting his family members through WhatsApp and allegedly used abusive and filthy language.

Based on the complaint, a case under relevant IPC sections, IT Act and under Telangana Money lenders Act was registered and during the course of investigation six persons including the directors of the two online loan firms were arrested, Cyberabad Commissioner of Police V C Sajjanar told reporters.

Both the companies entered into agreements with NBFCs and developed their own apps and maintained a database of 1.5 lakh customers with about 70,000 active customers at present.

Police said these companies have two nodal accounts of which one nodal account pools up the amount from NBFCs and disburses 75-80 per cent of loan amount by deducting various charges like processing fees, GST, etc.

The loan amount paid by the customers comes to another nodal account which in turn pays it to the NBFCs.

Police further said notices have been issued to different NBFCs and their managing directors and also notice has been addressed to Google (as these loan apps are available in Google play store) to take down the applications (apps) because of their criminal activities.

Three cases of suicides including of a software engineer due to harassment caused by representatives of instant money lending apps firms have been reported in Telangana during the last one month, police earlier said.

Police said several complaints were filed against such instant loan apps at various police stations and the same were being investigated to bring the culprits to book.PTI VVK SS PTI PTI