Delhi Police busts 'china-linked' online extortion gang, arrests 22
At least 22 people have been arrested throughout the country for their role in Rs. 500-crore fast loan-cum-extortion racket run by Chinese nationals, NDTV reported. Over 100 mobile applications were used to get access to sensitive information about the user, which was subsequently uploaded to servers in China and Hong Kong, according to the report.
Network of the gang was spread in different states
Reports said the arrests were made by the Delhi Police after an investigation into the two-month-long gang activity. Quoting the police officials, reports said that the network had stretched throughout Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and other states. According to them, the gang used the apps to lend modest sums of loans from a call center in Lucknow and later trap the borrower.
How would the gang operate?
Police claimed the group would phone customers from multiple numbers obtained with false IDs and extort money, saying that their modified naked photographs would be posted on the internet if they did not comply. Because of societal fear and stigma, users used to pay the money, which was then transported to China via hawala or other means.
What kinds of applications did the gang use?
The applications include Cash Port, Rupee Way, Loan Cube, Wow Rupee, Smart Wallet, Giant Wallet, Hi Rupee, Swift Rupee, Wallet win, Fish club, Yeah cash, Im Loan, Growtree, Magic Balance, Yocash, Fortune Tree, Supercoin, and Red Magic. According to reports, the gang used several accounts, and each one brought in more than Rs. 1 crore every day using these apps.
Police recovered several electronic gadgets during raids
As per NDTV, the police have recovered at least 51 mobile phones, 25 hard drives, nine computers, 19 debit/credit cards, three cars, and Rs. 4 lakh cash from different locations connected to the gang. The racket was reportedly run at the behest of Chinese nationals. Meanwhile, the police have identified a few Chinese nationals and are working to locate and apprehend them.
Rs. 500 crores siphoned by Chinese national: Police
Following the crackdown, the operators were allegedly trying to relocate their recovery call centers to Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. According to the police, the Chinese nationals have stolen more than Rs. 500 crore so far.