In a major operation, Andhra Pradesh Police have arrested three foreign nationals in a loan app scam case. The foreign nationals were picked up from Chennai airport and were taken to Andhra Pradesh.
According to the state government, the modus operandi of the application was to first create and run loan and gaming apps from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China. The accused had developed gaming apps that promised high returns or free loans and targeted victims by providing them small loan amounts at lower interest rates without any guarantee. Once the loan was taken through these apps, their contacts and images would be accessed by the app developers.
They began to extort money from the victims by threatening to circulate morphed images and videos to their contacts and post the images on social media. While a few paid the amount demanded by the agents out of fear, some evem committed suicide once the photos were posted in social media.
It has been revealed that the scamsters did transactions of over Rs 1 crore a day on these apps, using accounts provided by agents. Taking into account the apps that have been developed and the period they were run, the accused make about Rs 50 crore a month through these fake apps. The accused have been identified as Yong Lui Xing, Choo Kai Lun, Thiagarajan Kasi, all from Malaysia.
The case was probed by the Andhra Police based on a case of extortion and abetment to suicide filed by the kin of the deceased at Kadiyam police station in Rajamundry urban limits of East Godavari district. The victim had taken a loan of Rs 10,000 from a fake app, and ended up paying many times the amount. He was threatened by the app agents, who sent him his morphed images and threatened to send it to his contacts. Following the threats, the victim died by committing suicide on May 5.
It was found that the arrested accused targeted victims in eight other countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand and Nepal.