Fatal attraction to loan apps turns out to be a worry for Karnataka cops
On July 12, Tejas, a topper studying for the sixth semester in mechanical engineering at the Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in Bengaluru, ended his life for not being able to take harassment by the staff of a loan app company.
Bengaluru: On July 12, Tejas, a topper studying for the sixth semester in mechanical engineering at the Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in Bengaluru, ended his life for not being able to take harassment by the staff of a loan app company.
Tejas had taken a loan of Rs 40,000 for his friend Mahesh a year ago from a loan app. But he was not able to repay the loan and EMI.
The loan app had exerted pressure and allegedly harassed him demanding repayment.
In his suicide note, he wrote: “Father and mother please pardon me. There is no way out for me. I am not able to repay the loans and decided to end my life. Thanks, good bye.”
Jalahalli police have taken up the investigation.
June 3, 2023: Karnataka Police had arrested a girl student and two of her friends on charges of attempting to snatch a gold chain to pay up a loan amount of Rs 5,000 in Bengaluru. The accused confessed that she resorted to the crime as she was not able to take the torture from a loan app asking her to repay the pending amount.
The accused had invested Rs 15,000 on an online trading app. They made profits initially and later suffered losses. They got a Rs 15,000 loan from a loan app for investing in online trade. They had returned Rs 10,000 and took to crime to return the remaining Rs 5,000.
The girl, in the garb of as an NGO member, tried to snatch the gold chain of an aged lady in the pretext of giving a pamphlet. When the aged lady screamed for help, she ran away from the spot. After the police nabbed her, the elderly lady listening to their story decided to take back her complaint.
November 26, 2021: Karnataka Police busted a racket run by Chinese nationals involved in lending out loans for exorbitant interests and harassing and humiliating customers in violation of laws in Bengaluru. The investigation revealed that these Chinese nationals opened bank accounts in the name of Indians and carried out fraudulent transactions and transferred crores of money to China.
The probe revealed 52 companies were registered and bank accounts were opened in private banks. The interest paid by borrowers was credited to those account numbers.
As per preliminary investigation, crores of rupees have been sent to China through online transfers from these accounts. The Chinese nationals collected documents such as Aadhaar and PAN cards from the staff and had registered 5-6 companies in their names.
These are a few stories involving loan app fraud mostly run by Chinese companies. The police sources say that though they are trying to deal with the loan apps who violate laws and exploit customers through the Karnataka Money Lenders Act, IT Act, Karnataka Prohibition of Charging Exorbitant Interest Act, the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Act, the decisive action should come jointly from state and the Central government.
The Karnataka Legislature had discussed about the menace of loan apps in the state in detail in the recently concluded session. The Congress government had also announced that the action will be initiated against 42 loan apps indulged in torturing people.
BJP MLC D.S. Arun had raised the issue in the Council and stated that online gaming, online loan apps are torturing people. In particular, the gaming applications and online loan apps are destroying the lives of youths and students. He raised a concern on celebrities promoting such apps and stated that this will encourage the youth to indulge in gambling.
Arun had stated that about 800 such apps are functioning.
Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao had stated that the problem was being discussed with the Central government and Google. Already 42 such apps have been removed from the Android Play Store.
Many steps have been initiated against such apps. Since the Union government is controlling and monitoring the apps, it is not possible for the state government alone to take action. The matter will be discussed with the Centre by the state government, he added.
Retired ACP and politician, Lokeshwara told IANS that nowhere in Karnataka he had seen local police taking serious note of such cases and serious efforts are put into track the people involved in the loan app fraud.
“Monitoring should be done at the bottom level and chain link schemes, apps must be monitored in the jurisdiction of the police stations. The complaints in this regard are piling up with the cyber crime police and they can’t do much about it as resources are limited. The accused sit in an unknown location and manage everything on the phone. They won’t be tracked. The jurisdictional police have the power to deal with such cases and they have to be given focus and responsibility in this regard,” he said.
Lokeshwara further stated that the Hyderabad police are well equipped and provided with the necessary technical support by the government.
“They are chasing well and they got a very good team and made significant arrests in this regard. Likewise, in Karnataka as well, the fraudulent loan apps could be reined in.”