Not just desperate Indians, but mobile lending goons targetted people in other developing countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Nepal
Many illegal call centres working for the Indian loan app racket were recently busted in Nepal
The rogue digital lending companies floated by Chinese nationals that wreaked havoc in the lives of thousands of Indians also extracted tonnes of money from innocent borrowers in developing countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Nepal. This has been discovered by a special investigation team formed by the Odisha police. This organised crime is an attempt to disrupt the economies of these countries, claimed the police.
A special investigation team (SIT) of the Odisha police is parallelly probing dubious loan apps and has issued look out circulars (LOCs) against one Indian, whose ancestors came from China, and three Chinese nationals so far. One of the accused, against whom the LOC has been issued, has also emerged as a kingpin in a probe by the Mumbai police.
Haiying Yang, alias Doris; Quan Honwei, alias Paul; Shen Zhenhua, alias Tony and Liang Chi Sheng
The Odisha police SIT arrested Mumbai-based Ram Narayan Pathade, the director of Mahagram Payments Private Limited from Delhi on May 26. Pathade had an office at Dahisar. He and his associates Tarun Dudeja and Mohd. Javed Saifi were linked with digital loan apps like Koko and Jojo, both not registered as non-banking financial companies under
the RBI Act.
The SIT also arrested Nitin Mallik, the director of shell company Good Start Business Services Pvt. Ltd. on July 13. The company owned Kredit Gold loan app which has lakhs of downloads. Mallik was also found to be a director of Right Start Business Pvt. Ltd.
Nitin Malik, who was arrested in Mumbai by the Odisha police
The SIT recovered copies of passports of Chinese nationals, contract agreements with Chinese nationals, WhatsApp chats and emails apart from abusive text messages meant for borrowers from Malik. They said Mallik was in regular touch with Chinese nationals, solidifying the SIT’s suspicion about the role of Chinese loan sharks.
The Economic Offences Wing of the Odisha police has issued look out circulars against Jiangsu residents Shen Zhenhua, alias Tony, and Quan Hongwei, alias Paul, and two more identified as Yang Haiying, alias Doris of Sichuan and Liu Yi, who has also emerged as a kingpin in the probe by an SIT of Mumbai police.
“They are the mastermind and main accused related to running illegal digital loan apps. There are more than one lakh victims of Kredit Gold loan app across the country including many from Odisha. They also have links in the USA and Hong Kong. They are in the process of expanding their financial criminal network in African and Middle East countries,” said JN Pankaj, DIG-EOW, Odisha. “Evidence also suggests that they are running a similar scam in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh.”
The Odisha SIT found that the masterminds operate in India with the help of shell firms mainly named and styled as Goodstart Business Private Limited, Rightstart Business Private Limited, etc. They also take help from some unscrupulous officials of mobile companies, CAs, fintech companies, recovery agents and call centres. Sources said these masterminds are behind hundreds of illegal digital loan apps.
“Nitin malik, arrested earlier this month, is a close associate and henchman of Chinese bosses. He used to get a huge salary and commission for his job. EOW will move Interpol through proper channels for the extradition of these criminals to India and also alert law enforcement agencies of other countries concerned. EOW has already written twice to Google to take down the illegal loan apps from its play store. EOW has also requested RBI to impress upon Google for early taking down of the illegal loan apps. We have requested the Registrar of Companies to enquire and take necessary action against suspected shell companies,” added DIG Pankaj.
When Odisha cops arrested a big fish from Mumbai