The Tiruppur district (rural) police on Friday busted an illegal call center run for foreign-based instant loan applications and arrested five persons, all in Kerala.
Investigators found that the accused used 11 SIM boxes, a device capable of storing many SIM cards and routing international calls to local numbers. They also used Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications to route Internet calls and threaten gullible victims of loan applications.
A special police team arrested the five persons who were running the illegal call center. They have been identified as Mohammed Askar (24) and Mohammed Shafi (36) of Kozhikode district, Mohammed Saleem (37), M. Aneeshmon (33) and S. Ashraf (46) of Malappuram district. A total of 500 SIM cards, modems, computers and other accessories were seized from them.
The police started the investigation after a woman who came from Pongupalayam near Perumanallur lodged a complaint. According to the complaint, the woman availed a loan of ₹ 3,000 from the Paisa Home app on December 15. After repaying the amount, he received several SMSes in which he offered additional loans.
According to the police, on December 28, the woman withdrew an additional ₹15,000 from four loan apps – Speed Loan (Nigeria), Candy Pay (Indonesia), Easy Loan (Nigeria) and Lucky Money (China). The woman approached the Tiruppur District Cyber Crime Station A after receiving countless SMSes demanding cash back and obscene messages on her WhatsApp number.
Police have launched an investigation under Indian Penal Code Section 420 (cheating and inducing false delivery) and Information Technology Act 66D (punishment for impersonation fraud).
Superintendent of Police Shashank Sai formed a special team headed by Additional SP Krishnasamy and Cyber Crime Inspector Chithra Devi. The team led the accused to Khaderpet in Tirupur where they operated the illegal call center in their rented rooms. The investigators determined that the defendant primarily helped loan applications located abroad in converting internet commission calls. According to the police, Saleem was involved in the case registered by the Kerala police in Kottiyam and Aneeshmon by the Kanathur police.