Chinese instant loan companies operating from Nepal: Hyderabad cops

Hyderabad: The investigation into the Chinese instant loan app case is at an impasse, with city police tracing calls from company executives in Nepal.

According to the police, the loan application companies moved their base to Nepal, Bhutan and the Philippines following the arrest of a few owners of these companies in India who were cheating on innocent victims. Police in several Indian cities have registered cases against Chinese loan app companies after people committed suicide due to digital shaming of money-collecting agents, usually referred to as executives.

Managers receive a commission on debt collection as an incentive on their salaries.

“During the investigation of the cases, we discovered that the main servers and operations were in Nepal, Bhutan and the Philippines,” a Hyderabad police official said.

In 2021, Telangana police recorded nearly 50 cases related to Chinese loan applications. Around 100 people, including Chinese nationals, were arrested by the police.

Telangana police have written to tech giant Google to remove illegal loan applications from its Play Store. The management of the company has shown itself to be smarter.

People are now receiving SMS or Whatsapp messages with a link that redirects to an instant loan app. Anyone clicking the link is directed to an app and prompted to download it. The rest of the procedure is the same.

“Anyone applies for a loan and after processing the application, the amount is credited to their account. The gangs have a database of old clients and randomly acquire new data through third parties,” a Hyderabad police official said.

A multi-million dollar business with businesses hiring hundreds of people, management is less concerned with spending when there is high demand and returns.

“Recovery executives/agents, instead of making calls directly, make WhatsApp calls. The usual phone number is disabled. Also, they don’t use data on regular phones and instead use points access or WiFi to make phone calls,” the official added.

Earlier, Hyderabad police registered 22 cases and arrested 22 people, including Chinese nationals, in connection with a fraud worth thousands of rupees.

About 3,000 bank accounts have been frozen. Cyberabad Police and Rachakonda Police have also arrested a few foreign and local nationals for fraud. Police raided call centers in Gurgaon, Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad and seized electronic gadgets and other incriminating materials.

Harry L. Blanchard