In continuing crackdown on instant app-based lenders, the Telangana police on Sunday said it has busted a Pune-based call centre allegedly used for harassing borrowers of online app firms for recovery and arrested three people, including a Chinese woman. The trio was arrested based on a complaint by a city- based person that he was harassed by the online loan app firms over repayment with higher rate of interest, police said.
The action comes close on the heels of the arrest of four people, including a Chinese national, here on Friday for allegedly using coercive methods to recover dues from defaulters who had used 11 instant loan apps developed by them and availed loans. The crackdown against instant money lending apps firms has been launched after three cases of suicides, including that of a software engineer, due to harassment by such companies were reported in Telangana in the last one month.
Those arrested in the latest action were the Director of the call centre in Pune, his wife a Chinese national, who is assisting him in running the company affairs, besides an HR Manager,Rachakonda Commissioner of Police Mahesh M Bhagwat said. Presently around 650 employees were working in the call centre who are instructed to use their personal mobile numbers to call the borrowers, their relatives, friends and insisting on repayment along with interest, police said.
According to police, the lending companies through instant loan apps offered loans to individuals and levied huge interest and processing charges among others and resorted to systematic abusing, harassing, threatening of the defaulters through the call centres. They even blackmail the borrowers by sending fake legal notices to their relatives and family members.
Cases have been registered in various police stations in the state based on several complaints that these firms allegedly obtained sensitive data such as contacts, photographs from the mobile phones of the customers and using them to defame or blackmail to get the loan repayment.