Pan-India online cheating gang busted, dubious loan app scam worth crores exposed

New Delhi, June 5 : With the arrest of six persons, the Delhi Police has busted a gang of online cheats who had duped over 1,900 people across the country on the pretext of loans through app ‘Cash Advance’, a senior official said on Monday.

The gang was extorting and blackmailing the public at large on the pretext of providing instant loans by getting access to their mobile data illegally through an app, the official said, adding that suspected transactions of Rs 350 crore and dubious crypto exchange of the gang have come on record.

The gang members were identified as Mustajab Gulam Mohammed Naviwala, 32, Anisbhai Ashrafbhai Vinchhi, 51, both residents of Gujarat’s Surat, Gokul Biswas, 53, a resident of West Bengal’s Nadia, Nitin, 24, of Mahipalpur, Ashok, 36, and Balwant, 39, residents of Sultanpuri, (all Delhi residents).

The officials said that they have also recovered seven mobile phones, one laptop while 60 lakhs in various bank accounts have been frozen.

According to police, Jai Goyal, a resident of Model Town, alleged that some persons were extorting and blackmailing the public at large on the pretext of providing instant loans by getting access to their mobile data illegally through loan app Cash Advance.

“Further, on search of the NCRP portal, a total of 102 complaints from Delhi region and 1,977 from all over India were found lodged against the same app,” Deputy Commissioner of Police, Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations (IFSO), Prashant Gautam said.

The DCP further said that a team, led by sub-inspector Sonam Joshi, consisting of SIs Karamvir and Harjeet, and ASIs Neeraj Pandey and Surender Rathi among others was constituted to crack the case and apprehend the culprits.

During investigation, relevant details from various banks and ROC about the accounts, alleged companies and proprietorships were collected by the police team. “It came to notice that companies were registered at the addresses of Delhi, Surat, Kerala and Kolkata. However, the directors of these alleged companies were not traceable,” he said.

Hence, the police team conducted comprehensive analysis and carried out an exhaustive field investigation and finally succeeded in tracing the accused persons from different locations. “Thereafter, simultaneous raids were conducted on these locations and accused persons were apprehended,” said the DCP.

Divulging the details about the modus operandi of the gang, the DCP said that the gang used to offer short term loans to users at “very low interest rates” through a mobile application called Cash Advance and would get the access of personal data of victims at the stage of installation of the application.

However, after giving the money through digital modes, the gang used to raise the interest rates exorbitantly and even after the repayment of the loan. “The gang members used to demand more money from the borrowers or their relatives by threatening them in various ways like sharing their morphed pictures,” said the DCP.

“The accused Gokul, Mustajab, Anisbhai, Ashok, and Balwant had registered the fake companies and got bank accounts opened. It has been revealed that an amount of around Rs 350 crore is circulated in these accounts out of which Rs 83 crore are again disbursed as micro loan to various persons after deducting the commission,” said the official.

“Another accused Nitin, who had worked in a Chinese loan app company as a team leader before, is well versed with the working of loan apps and recovery process,” the official added.