Three Malaysians arrested by Andhra Pradesh police in loan app scam case
Thousands of victims are falling prey to fake loan apps and gaming apps daily
RAJAHMUNDRY: In a major operation, Andhra Pradesh Police have arrested three foreign nationals in a loan app scam case. The foreign nationals were picked up from Chennai airport and brought to Andhra Pradesh. The accused have been identified as Yong Lui Xing, Choo Kai Lun, Thiagarajan Kasi, all hailing from Malaysia. The accused have been booked under sections 306, 504, 509, 384, 386 r/w 34 IPC and Sec 67 of the IT act.
This is the first time that foreign nationals have been arrested in a loan app case. More than 1,000 people across the country have fallen prey to these loan apps and gaming apps on a daily basis and lost their hard earned money and in extreme cases a few have ended their lives.
Details of the case
In the present case, the accused are found to be operating out of Malaysia and Vietnam with the help of agents in india. It is found that the arrested accused along with their accomplices targeted victims in eight other countries including Pakistan and Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand etc. Further investigation would reveal the nexus behind these fake loan apps and their extent of operations. The case was investigated into by the Andhra Police based on a case of extortion and abetment to suicide filed by the kin of deceased at Kadiyam police station in Rajahmundry urban limits of East Godavari district. The victim had taken a loan of Rs 10,000 from a fake loan app, and ended up paying many times the amount. The victim was threatened by the app agents. They sent him his morphed images and threatened him of sending it to his contacts. Following the threats, the victim died by suicide on May 5. As a part of investigation, Andhra Police have taken into custody an agent, who was providing bank accounts with which they were making transactions of more than Rs 1 crore, every day. Many such accounts were frozen during investigation of such cases by police across the country as part of probe.
To catch the accused based out of Malaysia, Andhra Police interacted wi th the accused for over 20 days disguising themselves as agents and lured them to go over to India. The three accused Malaysian nationals, who arrived in Chennai, were picked up by the police team deputed for the task.
The modus operandi of the loan app scam was that the accused create and run loan apps and gaming apps from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China. They developed apps for gaming , which promised high returns, or loans and target victims by providing them small loan amounts at lower interest rates without any guarantee.
Once the loan is taken through these apps, their contacts and images will accessed by the app developers. They begin to extort money from the victims by threatening them that they’ll circulate morphed images and videos of the victims to their contacts and post them on social media. While a few pay the amount demanded by the agents, some die by suicide because of these threats.
It has been revealed that they make transactions of over Rs 1 core per day through these apps via agents.
The accused access multiple the savings and current accounts of victims which were provided by the agents and fleeced the accounts to the tune to Rs 50 crore a month. The fake apps are operated by the accused foreign nationals.
The money collected daily by illegal means is either converted into crypto currency or transferred abroad through hawala means or transfers through corporate accounts.
These agents and the financial operators discuss via Telegram, WeChat Or Whatsapp because of which most of the agents never know the identity of the main accused with whom they are transacting.
The police will be producing the three accused before a magistrate and seek police custody for further investigation and interrogation.