Bhubaneswar: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha police has arrested the proprietor of IWT India from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh for allegedly cheating people through a fake loan mobile app, police said Friday. The accused Mohd Javed Saifi was arrested May 4 for his role in lending money at a high interest rate and harassing the defaulters through coercive methods.
The arrest was made on the basis of complaints filed by victims and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) relating to illegal functioning of loan apps which are not registered as non-banking financial companies (NBFC) under the RBI Act.
EOW Bhubaneswar took up investigation in respect of one such loan app ‘Koko’ and its sister version called ‘Jojo’. More than 1.5 lakh people, including many from Odisha, have downloaded the two fake loan apps.
IWT India was working as a shell company to divert the money and its proprietor Saifi used to get a small commission for it, the police said.
The police found that crores of rupees had been transacted through the account of IWT India, and Saifi, the account holder, was not able to give satisfactory answers about the transactions.
During investigation, the EOW found that the apps offered small loan amounts ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 to its customers through their bank accounts through UPI or a link.
After the money was credited to customers’ bank accounts, officials of the two apps asked them to return the loan amount at a high rate of interest within a week.
When the customers confronted them over the high-interest rate, the officials began harassing them. Obscene messages and indecent pictures along with abusive texts were sent to customers’ WhatsApp numbers, the EOW officials informed. All the said transactions were made using many layers to confuse the law enforcement agencies.