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Odisha Police nabs another accused in fraud loan app scam

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Bhubaneswar, May 26 (Ajit Weekly News) The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Police has arrested another accused for his alleged involvement in cheating people through a fake loan mobile app, police said on Thursday.

The accused Ram Shriram Pathade, a resident of Sonam Heights, Mumbai, was arrested from Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi, on Wednesday.

Earlier, the police had arrested Tarun Dudeja, the proprietor of six shell companies and Mohd Javed Saifi, proprietor of fake company IWT India.

The EOW has also frozen an amount of Rs 6.57 crore in different accounts of IWT India.

After producing Pathade in a local court, the EOW brought him to Bhubaneswar seeking his transit remand.

He is the Director of at least five companies — Mahagram Payments Private Limited, Sarsewa Simplified Innovations Limited, Mahagram Foundation, Finnovity Global Payments Private Limited and Express Digital Money Private Limited, said the EOW officials.

Pathade along with his associates Tarun Dudeja and Mohd Javed Saifi was involved in the business of illegal digital loan apps like Koko and Jojo, which are not registered as non-banking financial companies under the RBI Act.

More than 1.5 lakh people, including many from Odisha, had downloaded the two fake loan apps.

The EOW has received more than 100 complaints from Odisha related to the illegal activities of loan apps, they said.

During investigation, the EOW found that the apps directly credited a small loan amount ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 to customers’ bank accounts.

Once the amount is credited, within a week the customer or borrower is asked to repay the amount with an excessive rate of interest.

On refusal to pay the high rate of interest, the concerned customer is humiliated in many ways.

Obscene messages and indecent pictures along with abusive texts are sent to his or her WhatsApp number as well as to their contact list as a coercive measure to recover the loan amount with interest.

The police officials said the process of recovery is so overbearing and humiliating that there are some instances of the customers committing suicide.

The police blocked 1,058 such virtual accounts created by Mahagram Payments Private Ltd to make such illegal transactions.

–Ajit Weekly News

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