EOW arrests director of business firm in illegal digital loan app case

Bhubaneswar: Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Odisha Crime Branch Wednesday arrested the director of M/s Good Start Business Services (P) Limited from a place under Harinagar police limits of New Delhi in illegal digital loan app case, an official source said today.

The arrested man was identified as Nitin Mallik. Delhi Police (West) provided necessary assistance to the EOW-Odisha team in arresting the accused.

A press note of the crime-control agency stated that Mallik was arrested based on EOW PS Case No-13, Dtd-02.07.2022 U/s 294/384/420/467/468/471/120-B of IPC, R/w Section 66(D) of the IT Act, 2000.

Following the arrest, accused Mallik was produced before the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Tis-hazari, New Delhi and was brought to Bhubaneswar on transit remand for his production before the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate (SDJM), Bhubaneswar.

According to the source, the case was registered based on a complaint lodged by Shakti Prasad Dash of Bhubaneswar regarding harassment, extortion and mental torture by recovery agents of the digital loan app ‘Kredit Gold’ by sending humiliating, abusive messages and morphed photographs etc.

Acting on the complaint, Inspector of EOW Smt Pranati Senapati launched a probe, which ascertained that victim Shakti Prasad Dash after downloading the said loan app ‘Kredit Gold’ received an instant loan amount of Rs 9,000 and it was credited to his account.

However, just after four days he received whatsapp messages and calls to pay back Rs 15,627.

Subsequently, Dash also received calls and messages from different mobile numbers which were traced to be of M/s Good Start in which the accused Mallik is a Director. It was further revealed that M/s Good Start is not registered as Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) with the Reserve Bank.

The company was illegally operating as a digital lender.

Meanwhile, in order to contain these types of crime and to create general awareness among public, the EOW advised people not to take any loans from unregistered and illegal loan apps available on Internet and Google Play Store.

On the pretext of advancing loan, the loan apps access and hack all information from customer’s phone, which is later used by the company to perpetrate some other financial crime. Such loan apps also harass the customers by charging not only a high rate of interest but on failure to repay the same.

It is pertinent to mention, Mallik was operating at the connivance of a Chinese mastermind.

In one app alone there are more than 1.5 lakh downloads.

It is suspected that the Chinese mastermind LIU YI has cheated and extorted lakhs of people across the country. He particularly targeted lower middle class people who were in the need of small loans, especially during tough time of Covid outbreak.

In some states, many people have committed suicide after being blackmailed.

The fraudster had started his illegal business in India in 2019 from Bangalore. His parent company was Jianbing Technoloy located in Hangzhou city of China. He is the director of Omlette technology private limited, but indirectly controls and owns few other companies.

There are at least two more Chinese who used to assist LIU YI in his scam.

In this case, the crime control-agency has already arrested the Chinese mastermind LIU YI including five of his accomplices. The EOW is in touch with different state police and has conducted raids in Mumbai, Bangalore and New Delhi as well.

More than Rs 6.57 Crore has been frozen so far.

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