The instant loan apps offer loans to individuals and levy exorbitant interest rates and processing charges. These could range from 2-3 per cent per month, adding up to an average of 24-36 per cent a year
Instant loan apps offer quick and easy loans with no collateral, but many such apps operate without any regulatory supervision. In fact, some of these apps have been found to be run by Chinese nationals, dealing in transactions worth crores.
The latest arrest in such a case was made by Rachakonda police in Telangana on January 13. It apprehended a 26-year-old Chinese national, identified as He. Jian, alias Mark, a native of the Jiangxi province of China. He was arrested in Mumbai. The police also arrested an Indian, Vivek Kumar, in connection with the case.
Jian came to India in on a business visa and joined as a delegate on behalf of Chinese nationals Xu Nan, Xu Xinchang and Zhao Qiao, who are directors of several microfinance companies.
They were operating apps including Krazy bean, Krazy rupee, cash plush, Rupee pro, Gold bowl, first cash, real rupee/rupee bear, rupee most, first cash, credit rupee, cool cash, money now, pocket rupee, rupee day, cash goo, cash star, cash bowl, cash just, cool rupee, money rupee, gold rupee, money helper, R cash, Money bell apps.
These Chinese nationals were running call centres in Pune and Thane, Maharashtra. Meanwhile, the Rachakonda police have also confiscated Rs 30 crore kept in the bank account of the above-mentioned companies.
Mahesh Bhagwat, the police commissioner of Rachakonda zone said that they have officially written to Google Play Store to remove these apps and have approached the Ministry of Information Technology through official channels against these applications. He added that his department has also shared FIRs with the Enforcement Directorate and has taken up the matter with the RBI.
Earlier, Hyderabad Police had made two other arrests in the case of an online instant loan scam run by a Chinese national identified as Zhu Wei (Lambo).