75 cases registered against loan app organisers in Andhra Pradesh

DGP says 71 arrested, 173 fake or unauthorised loan apps removed from Google Play Store.
DGP Kasireddy Rajendranath Reddy releases poster on helpline numbers | express
DGP Kasireddy Rajendranath Reddy releases poster on helpline numbers | express

VIJAYAWADA: Director general of police (DGP) Kasireddy Rajendranath Reddy said a total of 207 fake or unauthorised instant loan applications were operating in the State. Of them, 173 were removed from Google Play Store.

Addressing mediapersons at police headquarters in Mangalagiri on Friday, the DGP said six incidents of suicides following harassment by loan app organisers and 75 cases were registered across the State in the past two months.

He said the police have arrested 71 persons in connection with the loan apps. The DGP said that the accused were operating from Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.

Rajendranath Reddy also released a poster on dedicated toll-free number 1930 to register complaints related to loan apps and urged the public not to take extreme steps due to harassment and other financial troubles.

Explaining the steps taken up by the police to prevent gullible people falling prey to loan sharks, the DGP said a meeting was convened with bankers and network providers seeking their support in controlling the circulation of targeted links and monitor and alert police on auspicious transactions in inactive and defunct bank accounts.

“We are contacting the Google Play Store and other providers to bring down malicious mobile apps. Stringent action will be initiated against app developers as well. We have noticed some inactive bank accounts have reported sudden flow of cash. A vigil will be kept on such suspicious accounts. Bankers and service providers need to extend their cooperation by tightening KYC terms and regular inspection on defunct bank accounts and alert the police at the earliest. This will help in tracing the accused and recovering the money they looted from the public. By lending small amounts, the loan app organisers collect three times the disbursed amount. They threaten the borrower with morphed obscene photos and videos. This is leading to depression and suicides,” the DGP added.

He further said a booklet on SOPs was designed explaining investigation techniques while dealing with such cases. “All police stations will receive training manuals and training sessions will be conducted for investigation officers as well,” he added.Of the total 75 cases, East Godavari reported the highest of 13 cases followed by 11 in Tirupati, 10 each in Visakhapatnam and Guntur.

“The accused will be charged under Sections 384 (extortion), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 306(abetment of suicide), 504 (insults or provocating or intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause to break the public peace), 506 (criminal intimidation), Section 67 of Prevention of Money Laundering Act and relevant sections of the AP Money Lenders Act,” the top cops stated. “During our investigation, it was found that the accused transferred the amount to Chinese firms through cryptocurrency and PayTm. We have managed to freeze `10.5 crore in the accounts of the accused,” he added.

The DGP further appealed to the public not to borrow loans from unregistered loan apps and urged to report harassment by loan app organisers by dialling cybercrime number 1930 or Dial 100. “We urge the public not to resort to any kind of extreme steps. The police department is committed to the safety and security of the public,” the DGP said.

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The New Indian Express