Hyderabad: Cyber Crime Sleuths Bust Instant Loan Apps Mafia, Six Members Arrested

 - Sakshi Post

HYDERABAD: The sleuths of Cyber Crime PS, Cyberabad nabbed six members in connection with instant personal loan apps mafia like Cash Mama, Loan Zone and Dhana Dhan. These app were  operated under  companies named Onion Credit Private Ltd with Directors K. Sarath Chandra, K. Pushpalatha and CRED FOX Technologies Pvt Ltd with directors K Sharath Chandra and V Chaitanya. A total of three Laptops, 3 Desktops, 22 Mobile Phones were seized and 18 bank accounts with an amount Rs. 1.52 crores were freezed.

This investigation comes in the wake of a unemployed techie’s death by suicide in Hyderabad and an agriculture extension officer in Siddipet district in the last few days, allegedly owing to harassment and humiliation over repayment by this mafia.

On a complaint received on the seventh of this month in the Cyber Crime PS of Cyberabad, the complainant stated that because of his financial needs he searched in Google play store and downloaded an App namely “Cash mama” and uploaded his Aadhar card, PAN card, self-authentication photo, 3 months bank statement details. Based on which they provided Rs. 5000/- loan for 7 days period deducting an amount of Rs. 1180/- for GST and processing fees and credited Rs. 3820/- to his SBI Bank account. He took the money six times from the same app “Cash Mama”.  After that, he received calls from different mobile numbers and they suggested he take loans from various other loan apps viz., Hey Fish, Monkey cash, Cash Elephant, Loan Zone, Cash Zone, Water Elephant, Mera Loan.

Believing their words, he had taken a total of Rs. 30,000/- loan, but instead of Rs. 30,000 he received Rs. 20,000 only from 08-01-2020 to 21-09-2020. After that, he had paid a total loan amount of Rs 29,000/- till 12-09-2020. However, the loan was not cleared till date and they asked him to pay a total amount of Rs. 8,634/- to their different apps. They also harassed and blackmailed him and threatened him with dire consequences and also accessed his entire contact list and started contacting his family members through WhatsApp and used abusive and filthy language. Unable to bear the harassment he filed a case under Sections 420, 506 of the IPC and Sec 66 of IT Act-2008, Sec 3, 10 and 13(1) of Telangana Money lenders Act.

The case was registered and the CC officials got into action and investigated the matter. Shocking details about the modus operandi of the fraudsters were revelead The operations were being  conducted by the Onion Credit company operating from a building near Ratnadeep Super Market near the Bio-diversity Junction close to the IT Corridor in the city. The police conducted raids on the building  and arrested the following persons. 
Konataham Sharath Chandra, the main accused who operated the racket. Pushpalatha,B Vasava Chaitanya, B.Venkatesh,Sachin Deshmukh Collection agents and Syed Ashiqwho was said to be a ' Team leader' in the whole racket.

Established Companies with 110 employees

 The accused collected ROC documents (MoA and AoA) and certificates of Incorporation of the companies  Onion Credit Pvt. Ltd. & Credfox Technologies Pvt. Ltd., both owned by K. Sharath Chandra. He then established two offices in Hyderabad with (110) employees.

Agreements with NBFCs

Both the companies entered into agreements with nine NBFCs to acquire customers to NBFCs, marketing,check customers KYC and their initial credit worthiness,loan origination and for disbursement and sollection of loans from customers.

Developed their own apps

They developed their own apps in their office located in Raidurgam limits for maintaining the database of the customers and placed them in Google play store for easy download and available to customers. Both the companies, i.e., Onion Credit and Credfox Technologies designed mobile Apps namely ‘Cash Mama’, ‘Loan Zone’, ‘Dhana Dhan Loan’, ‘Cash Up’, ‘Cash bus’, ‘Mera Loan’ and ‘Cash Zone’.

Sold Apps to Delhi and Bangalore companies

They Sold 2 Apps i.e., ‘Cash bus’ and ‘Cash Up’ to Asia Inno Networks Pvt. Ltd., Delhi and 2 Apps i.e., ‘Mera loan’ and ‘Cash Zone’ to Blue shield Fintech Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore. They were operating three apps, out of these ‘Cash Mama App’ is linked to Onion Credit company and two other apps namely ‘Dhana Dhan Loan’ and ‘Loan Zone’ to Credfox Technologies. Both the companies have 1.5 lakh customers and about 70 thousand active customers at present.

Categorise the customers to recover dues

After issuing loans to customers from their app for a period of 7 days, they divide all the customers into different categories of buckets, i.e.,
1. On the due date it is called the D-0 bucket.
2. After the due date from day 1 to day 3 it is S1 bucket.
3. From day 4 to 10 it is S2 bucket
4. From day 11 to 30 it is S3 bucket
To recover the loan amounts from customers they practice different methods depending upon the bucket they are in, lesser the day after due date, lesser the treatment otherwise treatment will be very harsh, threatening and abusive.

They also access the contacts of relatives and friends of the customers and send them WhatsApp messages defaming and humiliating the defaulter.

The companies have 2 Nodal accounts of which one nodal account pools up the amount from NBFCs and disburses 75-80% 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. They are collecting 35% interest rate PA from the customers who repay the loan amount on time. They impose huge penalties on the customers whoever becomes the defaulter and start the harassment soon after they exceed their due date.

In this case, notices have been issued to all NBFCs and their managing directors and notice to Google has been addressed to take down the applications because of their criminal activities.

Cyberabad CCPS Advisory to general public
• Don’t download any Insta Loan Apps from Play store or other source which are not having proper licences from Government authorities.
• Don’t give your personnel and bank credentials to anyone.
• Please go through the terms and conditions and verify the licences of the companies whoever offering loans, whether they obtained permission from the concerned authorities like RBI, District Collector.
• Don’t download any App who asks to give access to the contacts, files, Gallery.    

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