Telangana has launched a crackdown against instant money lending apps (Representational)

Hyderabad:

Two more people, including a Chinese national, were arrested today as part of investigations against instant app-based lenders accused of harassing borrowers over repayment, the police said.

With this, 16 people have been arrested in 27 cases registered by Hyderabad police.

A preliminary investigation into the financial transactions has revealed that close to 1.4 crore transactions, worth nearly Rs 21,000 crore, have taken place so far, a release from Hyderabad police said.

On December 22, the Hyderabad Police said it had arrested 11 people of five call centres located in Gurgaon, Haryana and Hyderabad, who were being used to persuade, harass and intimidate the loan defaulters.

The call centres were being run on behalf of four companies.

The Cyber Crime Police Station in Hydearabd is probing as many as 27 cases pertaining to issue of loans by alleged unauthorised loan apps and harassment of the borrowers by the companies running the apps through their call centres.

On Wednesday, a 27-year-old Chinese national was intercepted at the Delhi Airport as he tried to leave the country, the police said, adding he was the head of operations of those loan apps being run by the four companies.

Another person, a native of Andhra Pradesh’s Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, who played a key role in operating the call centres, was also arrested, the police said.

With regard to the financial transactions, the police said these volumes of transactions have happened over payment gateways and bank accounts linked to these companies.

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A large number of international transactions have also taken place through bitcoins.

Bulk of transactions have taken place over the last six months and further investigation is continuing, the police said. The probe has also revealed that another Chinese national had set up operations in India and is presently abroad, they said.

Since December 25, two Chinese nationals, including a woman, have been arrested in different cases.

According to the police, the lending companies through instant loan apps offered loans to individuals and levied huge interest rates and processing charges, among others, and resorted to systematically abusing, harassing and threatening the defaulters through the call centres.

The crackdown against instant money lending apps firms was launched after three cases of suicides, including that of a software engineer, due to harassment by such companies were reported in Telangana in the last one month.

Cases have been registered in various police stations in the state based on complaints that these firms allegedly obtained sensitive data such as contacts, photos from mobile phones of customers and used them to defame or blackmail those who defaulted on loan repayment.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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