EOW freezes over Rs 6.57 Cr of a private company illegally offering online loans

EOW freezes over Rs 6.57 Cr of a private company illegally offering online loans

Bhubaneswar, 3 May (UNI) The Economic Offense Wing (EOW) in Bhubaneswar froze over Rs 6.57 billion from four accounts of a private company that had been providing illegal online loans and taking advantage of its customers. EOW sources here on Tuesday said it had frozen an amount of Rs 6,57,34,829 from four accounts held by Mahagram Payments Pvt Ltd u/s 294/506/507/420/467/468/120 IPC & 66 D of the IT Act . It said the company was not registered with the RBI as an NBFC. EOW BBSR received a number of complaints regarding illegally functioning lending apps that are not registered as NBFCs under the Reserve Bank of India Act. The Economic Crimes Wing began investigating one such loan APP “KOKO”. This has a related version called “JOJO”. More than 1.5 lakh people have downloaded this APP including many from Odisha. Based on the investigation, it was revealed that these fake credit apps, once downloaded on their own mobile Playstore, credit small amounts ranging from 3000 to 5000 via UPI or link to customer’s bank account. Once the funds have been credited to the customer’s bank account, the customer will be asked to repay the amount within a week along with an inflated interest rate. If the customer refuses to pay the high interest rates, they will be humiliated in many ways. Offensive texts, obscene messages and offensive images are sent to his contact list as well as his Whatsapp number. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the victims who downloaded the KOKO loan APP from the Play Store were credited small amounts by a company called Mahagram Payments Private Ltd, which is not registered with the RBI as an NBFC. The accused company, through its recovery officers, placed WhatsApp and Live calls with the victims and humiliated them with profanity in order to repay the money at up to 5 times interest in a week. The accused company credited the said amount but collected the refunded amounts from the victims through one of its client companies, IWT India, Gurgaon. All transactions were made with many layers to bypass the police/law enforcement agencies. In this regard, EOW has frozen an amount of Rs 6.57 crores in various accounts of the accused company as a first step to prevent further extortion and illegal money lending by the accused company and its client IWT India. Since this company has used many complicated and technical ways to avoid detection and confuse the police, EOW enlists the help of technical experts/bank officials/accountants to crack the case. Three special teams from EOW are working on this case in different states like Maharashtra, Bihar, UP and New Delhi and are in contact with Telangana Police. EOW advised people not to take loans from unregistered illegal lending apps available on internet and playstore to curb such crimes. Since the lending apps access information from the customer’s phone under the pretense of lending, which can later be used by the company to commit other financial crimes. In some states, many people have committed suicide because they are constantly being humiliated by the collection officers of these illegal loan APPs. EOW sources said if anyone has already taken out a loan they should report the matter to the police. A plethora of such illegal lending apps are available on the web like INS Loan, Beloan App, Flip Cash, Go Cash, Loan India, Loan, Palm Tree, Cash Cola, Kreditbee, Asan Loan, Rupee Wallet, Fast Rupee, Easy Credit Loan App , Sunshine Loan Rupeeking Loan App and asked people to be careful. UNI BD ARN

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