Showing posts from December 27, 2020

Hyderabad Police Asks Google To Eject Over 100 Loan Apps Over Abuse

Hyderabad and Cyberabad police have urged Google to 42 and 116 digital lending apps respectively In November, Google had removed lending apps such as OkCash, Go Cash, Flip Cash, ECash and SnapIt Loan The RBI has mandated that digital lending platforms disclose the name of the partner banks and NBFCs upfront to all consumers Looking to crack down on instant loan apps facing scrutiny over harassing defaulters, Telangana Police had asked Google to remove 158 unauthorised lending apps from the Google Play Store, the primary storefront for apps on Android. This comes after complaints against representatives of loans apps harassing borrowers along with cases of suicide after collection agents contacted relatives and friends of the borrowers after they had defaulted on loans.  The ease of digital lending makes it attractive for consumers, but the loan recovery methods used by these apps have been blamed for a spate of suicides in India in recent months. At least five people

Agencies, ED to probe data theft by Chinese loan apps

Express News Service BENGALURU: The Indian Intelligence agencies are looking for two Chinese nationals in the widespread instant loan taking app scam, which has led to suicides and huge amounts of data theft.“The trails of the data security breach led to China as the apps are of Chinese origin and are being reportedly run by Chinese, who under the garb of loan agencies, are stealing data from India,” said official sources.“The Research & Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau have stepped in to monitor the investigation and track the crime to its source of origin,” said sources. “The ED has also been pooled in to probe these cases in Bengaluru, Telangana, Pune, Gurugram and the NCR under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA),” added the sources.In Karnataka, the loan app fraud case is being investigated by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in which two people “who were m

Young pros, blue-collared workers targets of illegal loan apps

Thousands of customers have fallen prey to lending apps which are misusing data, overcharging customers and taking advantage of the digital illiteracy. | Image - Eunice Dhivya The Telangana and Karnataka police have acted tough on money lending platforms after a series of harassment cases of harsh recovery practices allegedly led borrowers to commit suicide. In the past two weeks, the Hyderabad police nabbed 16 people on the basis of harassment cases filed by borrowers and their family members. Different police teams arrested company representatives across cities — Hyderabad, Gurgaon, Haryana, Bangalore and Delhi — for hiring call centre workers to persuade, harass and intimidate loan defaulters. The Hyderabad police, on December 30, arrested a Chinese national named Zhu Wei at the Delhi airport while he was trying to leave the country. Wei headed the operations at four different lending platforms run by Aglow Technologies Pvt Ltd, Nabloom Techno

Explained: What is the instant loan apps case? How were victims lured?

Of the numerous apps that are available on Google PlayStore, most do not have any tie-up with any banks or Non-Banking Financial Institutions. A woman employee of Telangana Agriculture Department and a software engineer died by suicide last week after they were humiliated and blackmailed by tele-callers and recovery agents of a mobile app instant loan company. Their personal details were posted by the company on social media and labelled them defaulters and used abusive language. What is the instant loan apps case? It is a racket in which instant personal loans are offered through mobile apps at exorbitant interest rates by unauthorised lenders. Of the numerous apps that are available on Google PlayStore, most do not have any tie-up with any bank or Non-Banking Financial Institution. A customer can avail a loan within a few minutes after uploading personal details, three months’ bank statement,

Crackdown on instant loan apps highlight the dangers lurking in the digital economy

The crackdown on instant loan apps, which lure customers into debt traps by offering easy small loans but at an exorbitant rate of interest and short repayment windows, has blown the lid on what police believe is a Rs 21,000 crore racket. At least three suicides in Telangana have been linked to the apps and a Chinese connection has surfaced with the arrest of a Chinese national who managed call centres that directed the crude but fast growing operations. The ease of availing the loan was the trap that lured the cash strapped customers in. Without direct interface with creditors, by just downloading a mobile app which asks for permissions like access to phone contacts, submitting personal and Aadhar details and bank statements, the loan was credited to bank accounts. But when customers failed to repay, other apps with which their data was illegally shared would swoop in and offer loans to repay the earlier loan, creating a vicious chain of debt. The customers were also r

Bengaluru: Another instant loan app firm raided, 3 held

BENGALURU: Sleuths from Central Crime Branch (CCB) probing the alleged extortion and blackmail racket run by companies promising instant loans through mobile apps have arrested three staffers of one such firm in the city and recovered incriminating material, including 35 laptops and 218 mobile phones. Preliminary probe revealed the apps were handled by Chinese citizens with servers based in China. Besides deducting nearly one third of the loan upfront, the racketeers charged exorbitant interest rates and harassed borrowers by hacking their phones. They also formed WhatsApp groups by adding the contacts of their customers and posted defamatory content against them. Last week, CCB and CID had registered more than five cases regarding the racket. CID had raided four firms and arrested two persons. Officials from Intelligence Bureau have now joined the probe. Of the four firms raided, three were run by Chinese citizens. Joint commissioner of police (crime) Sandeep Patil sai

Apps turned a Rs 5,000 loan into Rs 2.5-lakh debt, killed agriculture officer in Telangana

HYDERABAD: Agriculture extension officer Kirni Mounika, who ended her life due to harassment by firms running loan apps , took the loan not for herself but to help some farmers who were in distress to buy seeds and pesticides. Some hand-written notings in Mounika’s diary were discovered by the family mentioning the amounts and names of farmers who she had helped with the money to buy what they needed. Mounika (25) consumed poison on December 14 and succumbed two days later. She took the extreme step after she was defamed by the instant loan apps which gave her small amounts of loan which she could not repay in time. “My daughter was on her death bed when she sruggled to tell me something. I could not understand immediately what she was trying to say. But I went through some jottings in her diary, I found that she had helped some farmers by taking the loan,” Mounika’s father Kirni Bhoopani of Rajagopalpet village in Nanganur mandal told TOI on Thursday. “As my mind was full

Decline in infiltration, terror incidents; 225 terrorists killed in J&K in 2020: Police chief

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir has seen a decrease in terrorist incidents, infiltration and civilian killings in 2020, while security forces carried out more than 100 "successful" counter-terrorism operations killing 225 terrorists, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said on Thursday. Addressing the annual press conference of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Singh said, "We undertook over 100 successful operations in J&K. Ninety operations took place in Kashmir and 13 in Jammu. As many as 225 terrorists were killed -- 207 in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu division." He said that among the slain terrorists, 47 were top commanders belonging to various outfits. "Today, all top commanders of various outfits have been eliminated," he added. The DGP said 16 Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel -- 15 in Kashmir and one in Jammu -- and 44 security forces jawans -- 42 in Kashmir and two in Jammu -- were killed while fighting terrorism this year. Singh said that p

Loan apps scam: Police stunned by the Rs 21,000 crore loan racket

HYDERABAD: Sleuths probing the countrywide illegal instant loan app case , involving Chinese national, Zhu Wei said four companies run by him carried out Rs 1.4 crore transactions worth nearly Rs 21,000 crore. The scale of the racket can be gauged from the fact that Rs 21,000 crore is a total loss that the domestic airline industry is likely to face in 2020 because of the pandemic and travel restrictions. "These transactions have happened over payment gateways and bank accounts linked to these companies," Hyderabad joint commissioner of police (detective department), Avinash Mohanty said. "Most of the transactions have happened in the past six months. We do not know whether the 1.4 crore transactions were meant only for disbursement of loans and collecting the money or if there are other reasons. We need to see if there are any hawala transactions too," Mohanty added. Sleuths said they were also shocked to learn they had unearthed a scam worth Rs 21,00

Cornel West And Suraj Yengde: Between Indology And Hinduphobia

  Snapshot Most Western intellectuals, and intellectuals based in the West, find it near impossible to bring in academic rigour and honesty to a debate about India.  They fill the space with prejudice and ignorance instead.  Recently, Suraj Yengde, a Senior Fellow at Harvard, released an  extremely derogatory  tweet disparaging India’s native Hindus. It is not the first time that such  crude commentary  has been made by activists, West-based academics, Indologists, or even foreign-aligned academics based in India itself.  It is unfortunately shockingly common, an industry, with frauds like  Arundhati Roy  being a more famous example. These voices come from across the spectrum of socio-economics, with some being wealthy upper crust, while Yengde sits in a sub-section of the Dalit camp, which has for long been a  religious-imperial target .  But how does it relate to a progressive left African-American public intellectual like Harvard’s Cornel West? Over the years, some criticism has bee

T'gana: 11 extremists killed in exchange of fire, 135 Maoists arrested in 2020

Hyderabad, Dec 30 (UNI) The year 2020 witnessed no major violent incident in Telangana state, State Director General of Police M Mahendar Reddy on Wednesday said that the hectic efforts of CPI(Maoists) to revive the movements in the state were effectively thwarted by the police. Addressing at an annual press meet here, Mr Reddy said during the year, the intelligence-based anti-extremist operations resulted in the neutralization of 11 Maoist cadres including 4-ACMs in 11 exchanges of fire between Maoists in the state. 30 out of 33 districts in the state remained free from violent incidents of Maoist, he said the state police have arrested 135 extremists including two state Secretaries and four district committee members of other groups and four Area Committee Members (ACMs) of CPI (Maoist). The Telangana police succeeded in preventing Maoist's entry into the state from the neighbouring Chhattisgarh state, the DGP claimed and said there has been no change in the volume and pattern of

Let’s Face Up To The Right-Wing Extremism In Australia

Earlier this week a parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security launched an inquiry to unravel extremism in Australia. Andrew  Hastie , Liberal Member of Parliament and the committee chair, stated the inquiry would assess the nature, magnitude, and threat posed by extremism including the motivation, purpose, and capability extremist groups have for violence. The committee will also examine how extremism has evolved during COVID-19 as it is reported the pandemic has been used by extremist groups to push their ideologies and convert new members. Finally, the committee will evaluate the role of social media, the dark web, and encrypted communication platforms. Coincidentally, this week an 18 year old man was arrested on charges related to advocating terrorism and inciting violence. He used social media to communicate about extremist issues and access information on bomb building. Also, this week the report from the royal commission into the Christchurch terrorist attack was

Hit hard by the pandemic, Mexico’s drug cartels tweaked their playbook

Government measures to contain the virus had fouled up its operations, interrupting the supply of chemicals for manufacturing synthetic drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine and cutting off trafficking routes across international borders. New York Times Written by Steve Fisher and Kirk Semple Like a lot of businesses, the Sinaloa Cartel was knocked back on its heels as the  coronavirus  swept the globe and travel ground to a near halt. Government measures to contain the virus had fouled up its operations, interrupting the supply of chemicals for manufacturing synthetic drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine and cutting off trafficking routes across international borders. But the cartel is not just any business. It established itself as one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking groups with a trademark mix of business acumen, ingenuity and lawlessness. And so while many legitimate industries remain staggered by the  pandemic , the cartel has quickly adapted, as have other orga