December 23, 2023

A Chinese-owned network was cheating gullible borrowers in India, and used Bengaluru as a hub for their activities, police say.

The shadowy network uses mobile apps to lure borrowers. It had also hired agents, promising them Rs 4,000 as a monthly incentive.

On November 24, the Central Crime Branch arrested Kamaraj More, HR executive, and Darshan Chowhan, team lead, employed by Licorice Technology, allegedly a Chinese-funded company. 

They used the names of 52 companies and had opened 80 bank accounts over the last two years, police say.

A police team raided the company’s office, working with 100 employees, in Munnekolala, near Marathahalli, and confiscated 83 computers. City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant told Metrolife the Chinese companies use Indian employees and use them as a front.

“They open a firm and appoint managers and directors to run the show, but never make an appearance in person,” he says. 

How they operate

Jagannath Rai, assistant commissioner of police (economic offences wing), who investigated the racket, says Chinese firms use mobile apps with catchy names.

“You can download these apps from the Google Play Store. As soon as you download the app, it asks for access to all your contacts and other details. Only after you agree can you proceed,” explains Rai. 

The loan sanction is easy and painless, but the catch is in what comes later. “An exorbitant amount is charged as processing fee. For instance, if Rs 5,000 is sanctioned, Rs 1,000 is deducted as…

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