Warning notice issued against a Chinese national involved in a loan application scam

Thousands of lower-middle-class people in need of small loans may have been victims of extortion, senior Odisha police official says

Thousands of lower-middle-class people in need of small loans may have been victims of extortion, senior Odisha police official says

The Bureau of Immigration has issued a Watch Circular (LOC) against Liu Yi, a Chinese national, for his alleged involvement in handling an illegal digital lending mobile app case in India.

Mr Yi is the main defendant in the case which is being investigated by the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW), Bhubaneswar, which has requested the Bureau of Immigration to issue the LOC against the defendant .

“Mr. Yi used to run many illegal digital loan apps in India such as KOKO Loan, JOJO Loan, Golden Lightening Loan and Silver Kredit Loan. The investigation revealed that there are more than 1 .5 lakh downloads of a single app.They are suspected to have deceived and extorted thousands of people across the country, especially targeting lower middle class people in need of small loans, especially during the challenging times of the COVID pandemic,” Jai Narayan Pankaj, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, EOW, said.

The EOW said the Chinese national started his illegal business in India in 2019 from Bengaluru, while his parent company was Hangzhou-based Jianbing Technology in China.

“He is the director of Omlette Technology Private Limited, but indirectly controls or owns many other companies such as Yellow Tune Technologies Private Limited, Mudmate Technologies Private limited and Pinkleaf Aryan Communications Private Limited. There are at least two other Chinese [nationals] who was helping him in his scam,” Mr. Pankaj said.

According to modus operandi, once these fake loan apps are downloaded, small amounts ranging from ₹3,000 to ₹10,000 are credited to the customer’s bank account, within a week after which the borrower is asked to repay the amount with excessive interest rates. The accused used had several call centers make abusive and threatening calls for the recovery of the loan amount.

“If a person who has taken out a loan refuses to pay a high interest rate, the customer concerned is humiliated and intimidated in several ways. Obscene messages and indecent images along with abusive texts in foul languages ​​are sent to his WhatsApp number as well as his contact list as a coercive measure to recover the loan amount with interest,” Mr. Pankaj said. .

The DIG said the loan collection process was so overbearing and humiliating that some customers took their own lives. The EOW has received more than 100 complaints in Odisha regarding abusive actions of illegal loan applications.

“The EOW is in contact with various state police and has carried out raids in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi. More than ₹6.57 Crore has been frozen,” Mr Pankaj said.

The investigation showed that such illegal loan app scams were also carried out in other countries, including Thailand.

In this case, the EOW has already arrested five accused accomplices of Mr. Yi, the Chinese mastermind.

The investigative agency has already issued notices on illegal loan applications in order to bring down such crimes and raise public awareness.

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