Sushma Gowda (Correspondent)
Enforcement Directorate (ED),attached cash Rs.76.67 Crore,lying in various bank accounts and payment gateways pertaining to Chinese Loan App case.
The ED probed the case against chinese companies and their Indian associates running instant loan business with exorbitant interest rate against RBI guidelines.
The probe was initiated under Provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act,2002 (PMLA).
The ED initiated investigation based on the FIRs registered by CID,following complaints received from various customers,who had availed loan and faced harassment from the recovery agent of these money lending companies.
The amount attached by ED pertain to 7 companies out of which three are fintech companies namely Mad Elephant Network Technology Private Limited,Baryonyx Technology Private Limited and Cloud Atlas Future Technology Private Limited which are controlled by the Chinese nationals and three NBFCs (non Banking financial companies ) registered with RBI namely X10 Financial Services Private Limited, Track Fin-ed Private Limited and Jamnadas Morarjee Finance Private Limited.
According to an official release,the Fintech companies have agreement with respective NBFCs for disbursement of loans through digital lending apps.
The amount attached by ED also include amount of fee charged by Razorpay Software Private Limited to the extent of Rs.86.44 lakhs for not conducting due diligence in case of one company enrolled with it for disbursement and collection of loans.
Money laundering investigation by ED revealed that these Chinese loan apps offered loans to individuals and levied usurious rate of interest and processing fees.
The loan apps through their recovery agents resorted to systematic abuse,harassment and threatening to the defaulters through the call centers for coercive recovery of the loans by obtaining sensitive data of the user stored on mobile such as contacts,photographs and using them to defame or blackmail to the borrower.
These companies even threatened the borrowers by sending fake legal notices to their relatives and family members.
During Investigation further revealed that the money lending business has been indeed being run by these Fintech companies for which they are not authorized to do under any law.
These companies lure customers who are vulnerable section of the society and are in dire need of funds due to prevailing pandemic situation.Further investigation is in progress says a release.