Odisha STF freezes Rs 2.52 crore from fake lending app operators

The Odisha Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) has frozen more than Rs. 2.52 crores in bank deposits from three dubious companies that deceived people through a bogus loan application.

The EOW had previously received a series of complaints from victims and the Reserve Bank of India regarding the illegal operation of lending apps which are not registered as NBFCs under the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act.

The three companies whose accounts have been frozen are BTWO Consulting Private Limited, Jiyaling InfoTech Private Limited and Omellete Technology Private Limited. Majority of the monies belongs to BTWO Consulting Private Limited, a recovery agent company based in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, the EOW statement said on Saturday.

Pune-based Jiyaling Technology Private Limited and Bangalore-based Omelet Technology Private Limited are the shell companies used by Chinese mastermind Liu Yi to run illegal digital lending apps.

These shell companies, through their network of debt collectors, placed Whatsapp and live calls to victims humiliating/abusing them with foul language to return the money with up to 5 times the rate of interest in a week.

Earlier in this case raids were carried out by EOW Odisha in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Rajasthan. Five accused persons were arrested and Rs 6.57 crores were frozen from their accounts.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration (BOI), acting on the request of EOW, had issued a surveillance circular against Liu Yi, a Chinese national. Further investigation into the fraudulent Loan App case is ongoing.

During the investigation, it was found that these fake loan apps once downloaded in its mobile play store, small amounts ranging from Rs 3000 to 5000 are credited through the link or via UPI to the customer’s bank account. Once the amount is credited to the customer’s bank account, within one week the customer is asked to repay the amount with an excessive rate of interest.

The refusal to pay the high rate of interest, the customer concerned is humiliated in many ways. Obscene messages and indecent images along with abusive texts are sent to his WhatsApp number as well as his contact list.

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