Four of Maharashtra’s six loan application gangs arrested
Krishna district police terminated the activities of two online lending apps, operating in Andhra Pradesh, and arrested four members of the apps on Saturday.
The accused, who allegedly offered loans to two women by collecting bank accounts, Aadhaar, PAN and other details, allegedly threatened to send their transformed photos to their friends and family members, said the superintendent of font P. Joshua.
Those arrested were identified as Nilesh Vilas Gorade, Amit Sunil Gavli, Sarfaraj Azeej Shaik and Ramdas Dattatreya Daradas from Sinnar taluk and village, Maharashtra. Another defendant, Omkar Shankar Mule is in jail and another defendant is on the run.
Giving details of the cases at a press conference here on Saturday, the SP said the accused allegedly lured the victims from the villages of Penamaluru and Atkuru, and asked them to register on Well Credit and FF Loan Apps on last month. They offered a loan amount of ₹7,000 and ₹3,360 and made them repay ₹16,270 and ₹7,000 respectively in just a few days.
The accused allegedly sent the transformed photographs of the loanees to their friends and relatives and threatened them to send more money to their accounts (accused).
Unable to bear the torture, the victims lodged complaints with the police stations of Penamaluru and Atkuru. Special teams led by Additional SP Venkata Ramanjaneyulu and Gannavaram DSP K. Vijay Paul were formed, which tracked bank accounts, phone numbers, bank transactions and other links and focused on the village accused of Sinnar in Maharashtra.
“The defendant’s modus operandi is to attract the poor and those in dire need of money for health emergencies and other purposes. They will make sure to grant a loan with just one click without insisting on any documents, and later collect more than double the amount. After a few days the loan operators will harass and blackmail the lenders into sending the obscene photos to their friends asking them to send more money,” Mr Joshua said.
“A hunt is underway to arrest the remaining defendants in both cases,” Mr Vijay Paul said and appealed to the public not to borrow loans from online and private lending apps. Police are investigating whether online lending operators had ties to other countries and their operations in other states, if any, the SP said.