Net Five Cops Who Tortured Borrowers

Arrested defendants are from Karnataka module, police say; interrogation reveals that they aimed to extort Rs 40,000 every day

Exactly 15 days after the state Home Minister called a meeting with senior Cyber ​​Cell Maharashtra officials as well as noon reporters, hearing of the report on the harassment of the app of ready, the Cyber ​​Cell broke a module from Karnataka. Five defendants who harassed borrowers by altering their photos and sharing them with victims’ contacts have been arrested. The accused arrested includes a supervisor who was an employee of the Loan Application Syndicate.

The state cyber cell last month registered an umbrella case to investigate the entire union, as instructed by Home Secretary Dilip Walse Patil. “After further investigation, we got the link of a WhatsApp number which belongs to a vegetable seller in Dhule district. The vegetable seller was questioned and we learned that someone else was using the number because he didn’t even have a smartphone,” Maharashtra CEO Madhukar Pandey said at a press conference on Monday.

State Cyber ​​Cell SP Sanjay Shintre, ADG Madhukar Pandey and cyber IG Yashasvi Yadav


SP Sanjay Shintre said based on an OTP received by the vegetable seller, they tracked down the main defendant who was leading the syndicate to collect loans from borrowers. “Our team was deployed to Dharwad in Karnataka and we raided the residence of a defendant and apprehended him,” Pandey said.

The arrested accused, identified as Ahmed Husain, 26, is a Std XII dropout and worked for the union with a monthly salary of R12,000. Husain confessed to the crime and gave cops his supervisor’s contact information. “Our teams then reached Uttar Kannada district in Karnataka and arrested the supervisor,” Pandey said.

(L to R) Maharashtra Cyber ​​Cell SP Sanjay Shintre, ADG Madhukar Pandey, IG Yashasvi Yadav during a press conference on Monday(L to R) Maharashtra Cyber ​​Cell SP Sanjay Shintre, ADG Madhukar Pandey, IG Yashasvi Yadav during a press conference on Monday

When the cybercell team arrested the supervisor, Suhail Sayyed, 24, three others were charged—Sayyed Mohammed Athar, 24; Mohammad Kaif Kadari, 22; and Muftiaz Peerzade – managed to escape. “We then took the help of local police and apprehended the three,” Pandey added.


Cyber ​​cops discovered that Sayyed had an MBA and was hired by another person who was under investigation to collect money for the Happy Loan app. “We are investigating the role of other individuals believed to be the kingpin of the entire syndicate. These defendants worked for a few other apps, but we cannot reveal the names yet,” Pandey said.

Besides Sayyed, Athar has taken computer courses after completing Std XII, Kadari is in his second year of computer courses while Peerzade has completed his Bachelor of Commerce.

The defendants operated from different locations in Karnataka with a salary of Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 while Sayed earned a monthly salary of Rs 20,000.

The cops added that all officers were aiming to collect Rs 40,000 each day, for which they had to make around 100 calls per day. “They were hitting their targets almost every day, yet they kept sending messages to borrowers. This is clearly a case of extortion, and so we have added relevant sections of the ICC apart from the computer law,” Shintre said.

Probing the results

Cyber ​​cops also found verbiage on the defendants’ cellphones. “It was a good storyline where everything is told, including the abusive and threatening messages sent to borrowers. They were also told how to start the conversation by threatening borrowers to send their transformed photos to their loved ones,” said one. officer.

According to sources, the cyber cell has identified a few other people believed to have links with Gujarat’s Happy Loans. “It appears that the address of the app is fake and the real owners of the app are elsewhere. We will get more clarity after interviewing these defendants and properly scanning their cellphones,” the officer added.

The authorities seized 5 mobile phones and 5 SIM cards from these defendants. “We are taking the help of cybercrime experts to get more details about the case,” Yadav said.

China link

After preliminary investigation, cyber cops suspect the role of Chinese nationals.

According to the cybercell, the amount paid by the borrowers was paid into different UPI accounts which were thoroughly examined.

“These payments were made to different accounts through UPI and we suspect the money went to the real owners through different routes who are believed to be in China,” an officer with knowledge of the investigation said.

“The route of this whole syndicate takes us to China, but at this time the investigation is at a very premature stage,” said an officer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Cybercell writes to RBI again

Cybercell has again written to the Reserve Bank of India to make an amendment while granting permission to NBFCs as most of them break the rules, allowing private lending apps to lend on platforms digital without the permission of the RBI. “Recently, RBI revoked the licenses of 5 NBFCs,” an officer said.

The cyber cell registered an FIR after identifying 27 victims in Mumbai who filed complaints on their website and one victim in Mulund who came forward to register an FIR. “The victim took out a loan of 8,000 rupees and paid 96,000 rand, and yet his photos were transformed and shared with his relatives. They even sent messages saying that the victim was charged in a case of rape of a minor,” Shintre added.

The cyber cell also identified five states from which these calls are made: Rajasthan, Delhi, West Bengal, Bihar and Karnataka. Officers believe the Karnataka Syndicate is nearly neutralized with the arrest of these arrests.

Rs 20k
Monthly salary of the exploded module supervisor

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