Maharashtra cyber cell busts fake moneylender shark app, five people arrested from Karnataka
No less than 27 complaints were lodged within a few months, after which the Maharashtra cyber cell registered an FIR. The defendants were detained for allegedly blackmailing, harassing and cheating on numerous people across India.
Bombay,UPDATED: Jun 14, 2022 2:35 a.m. IST
Five people arrested in the case. (Picture for representation)
By Dev Kotak: Maharashtra Cyber Cell, in an overnight operation, arrested five recovery agents from a Karnataka-based loan shark mobile app for allegedly blackmailing, harassing and deceiving several people across India.
The defendants were taken into custody and are charged under the relevant articles for defamation and extortion under the ICC and the Information Technology Act.
The fate of the victims was such that some who had borrowed Rs 8,000 and repaid it on time were further harassed and received threats where the recovery amount was three times higher than the original amount. Worse still, those who just downloaded their app to see plans, policies etc. but didn’t borrow anything but were still hassled to cough up the amount. If they didn’t repay, the threat said their transformed photos would be posted on social media and sent to loved ones.
No less than 27 complaints were filed within a few months, after which Cyber Maharashtra decided to investigate the matter and registered an FIR. Through the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal, 2,084 complaints came from Maharashtra alone in two years.
“Through technical investigation and coordination with Karnataka Police, we arrested one accused who led us to the other four in Dharwad. They worked for four other instant mobile loan apps. Coordination with local police has enabled our team to make arrests overnight.. We are probing them further to determine their connections and who they work for.We have found a number, originally belonging to a vegetable vendor, which was hacked to reach unsuspecting victims. Each person had a personal target of 40,000 as the recovery amount,” said Madhukar Pandey, ADG, Maharashtra Economic Offenses Wing and Cyber.
“We have confiscated all of their phones. All of the defendants are educated, including an MBA and a business graduate. We have written to relevant authorities as well as RBI regarding mandatory app verification, 69 of which have been recommended to Google for get,” Pandey added.