Delhi police have arrested eight people for allegedly extorting money from people using their altered photos obtained through a wiretapped loan app, officials said.
The Delhi Police Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit picked up the racket that allegedly offered loans through a mobile app, but in fact used the app to install malware on users’ phones to access their private information.
In their investigation, the police found that the ‘Cash Advance’ (Danakredit) app, which was available for download on the Play Store, was offering loans to users, but that the operators would instead use the app to collect users’ data. hack.
According to the police, the extorted money was sent via cryptocurrencies to accounts in China, Hong Long and Dubai.
They said the eight accused had been arrested from Delhi, Jodhpur, Gurgaon and other parts of the country.
The scam came to light when a Delhi woman, a victim of the app, lodged a complaint with the police alleging she was being harassed by some people for money.
The woman in her complaint said she took out a loan with the Cash Advance app and repaid the money. But then she got phone calls for money from some people, who used foul language against her and even sent her distorted photos to her family and friends.
According to police, the woman alleged that one of the suspects had used a photo of a senior IPS official for his WhatsApp profile.
Police said the app was used to install malware on users’ phones to get their data, contacts and photos, which would then be sent to a third party for extortion.
Based on the woman’s complaint, a case was registered and the money trail of the alleged transaction was traced.
It turned out that the money was transferred to a checking account opened in the name ‘Balaji Technology’, a motorcycle repair shop owned by one Rohit Kumar, a senior police official said.
Police discovered that the account was used to funnel about Rs 8.45 crore to other accounts in just 15 days.
In all, police identified 25 more such accounts and froze them, he said.
Then, on March 13, raids were conducted in Pitampura and Rohini from which police arrested four people involved in the scam, Deputy Police Commissioner (IFSO) KPS Malhotra said.
The suspects were identified as Rohit Kumar, Vividh Kumar, Puneet and Manish. Their cell phones and other devices used in the crime were also recovered from them.
Later, two more accused, a man named Puneet Kumar and a woman, who has still not been identified, were arrested along with one Krishna, who was identified as the mastermind behind the entire operation, he said.
Krishna was arrested on March 14 in Jodhpur in Rajasthan, police said.
Krishna, the mastermind in India, gave all bank accounts to one Chinese national. It was revealed that all the extortion money was sent by him to China via cryptocurrency.
“Crypto accounts of three Chinese nationals have been identified,” the officer said.
Later, the police arrested another suspect, Sumit, from Gurgaon.
Sumit carried out the operation to make WhatsApp calls through a number obtained using fake documents.
When questioned, he led police to another suspect, Kartik Panchal, whom he identified as the operation’s team leader.
Panchal was also arrested, police said.
“We found that Panchal led a team of callers who used to call the loan seekers. It was also found that the accused were altering and editing photos of women and sending them to their contacts to extort money from them,” DCP Malhotra said. †
“Eight suspects have been arrested so far. More victims are being identified and the other members of the syndicate are being tracked down,” the DCP said.
The officer said the police have frozen about Rs 11 lakh in accounts and seized Rs 4 lakh in cash found on the suspect.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)