Kathmandu / New Delhi: Two Chinese and more than 100 Nepali nationals have been arrested in Nepal for their involvement in running an online fraud loan scheme targeting Indians, Nepali police said on Wednesday.
Nepal Police said in a press release that they arrested two Chinese and 115 Nepali nationals in two separate raids conducted in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur districts in Kathmandu valley on Monday and Tuesday for their involvement in fraudulent cyber activities.
Acting on a tip-off, Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range first detained a group of 37 individuals, including a Chinese from Old Baneshwor on Monday night. The Chinese national, identified as Chang Hu bao, operated illegal business activities targeting Indians with the help of Nepali youth.
”They had officially registered the company called Lewan Group to provide IT services for business houses in the capital,” police said.
The Nepali nationals arrested from Kathmandu include 23 boys and 13 girls.
After their arrest, the police also busted a larger racket in Sano Thimi Municipality of Bhaktapur district from where they arrested 80 people, including a Chinese national named Wang Zinao in the second raid carried on a three-storey office building.
The arrested Nepalese from Bhaktapur include 47 girls and 32 boys. A total of 48 laptops and 14 desktop PCs were also confiscated from the office.
The Chinese nationals, who reportedly started the business one and a half months ago from Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, used to lend short-term loans to the Indians with 2.5 to 3.5 percent interest rates online.
They provided loans amounting to Rs 3,000 to 30,000 to the borrowers in India, who were required to submit photocopies of their ration card and contact number. If they did not return the money with interest, then they used the Nepali boys and girls to threaten them on the telephone.
Police said that a majority of the arrested Nepalis were employees getting a monthly salary of Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000, whereas top-level employees, including the Chinese boss, earned in millions. Salaries and other benefits were transferred to workers’ accounts from China, according to the police.
According to Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh Rathor of Metropolitan Police Office, Kathmandu said the arrested people ran illegal online ‘loan providing’ services in India.
They used to lure Indians to use apps like Lone Cube, Rupee Way, and Wo Rupee where they were promised Rs 3,000 to 30,000 for up to three months without having to provide any guarantee.
Those arrested will be produced in court and charged under Central Bank and Financial Transaction Act.
Officials at Nepal Rastra Bank, the central bank of Nepal, said only duly registered banks and financial institutions are allowed to provide loans and charge interest.