Mumbai: Four held for duping 4000 people of ₹4 crore with ‘Prime Minister’ loan apps

The city Crime Branch has bused a gang of four for allegedly duping people with loan applications bearing the Prime Minister’s name. The accused used to lure people into a trap by offering them easy loan and dupe them by making them to pay for various charges. The accused have made nine such applications and have allegedly duped around 4000 people to the tune of Rs 4 crore, said police.

According to the police officials, their applications mostly bear PM in their name such as PM Bharat Loan Yojana, PM Loan Yojana, Pradhanmantri Mudra Yojana and so on. Along with that, they also created three web portals bearing the Prime Minister's name. Through these apps the accused offered easy loan and asked victims for registration and submission of their documents.

Following the registration the accused send them a link and ask them to pay for various charges and continued to demand money until the victim stopped paying further, said police. Many people did not complaint as the fraud amount was less.

"During the course of investigation it has been revealed that the apps have been downloaded by 2.8 lakh people of which many have submitted their documents. We are also worried for people's documents as their misuse could not be ruled out and we urged people to refrain from sending their documents and paying to such apps without due verification," said Milind Bharambe, joint commissioner of Mumbai crime branch.

"While analysing social media for such activities we found many such apps indulged in duping people. With the help of technical analysis we traced them and raided their call centres in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh and in Jaipur and arrested the four accused, said Rashmi Karandikar, DCP cyber.

The four accused are identified as Sanjeev Kumar Singh (36), Pranjul Rathod (27), Ramnivas Kumavat (25) and Vivek Sharma (42). Singh was operating the gang while Rathod was his accomplice, the other two are IT professionals who developed the apps, said police. They have been arrested for sections for cheating and forgery along with

The accused had reportedly given advertisements in newspapers and on various web portals for their app's promotions and also used PM Narendra Modi's photographs and emblem for promotions, said police. Many offences have been registered against them across the country and many investigations agencies were looking for them, said police.

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