Police have asked Google to block 158 instant financing applications (apps) on its Play Store as the companies behind these were found harassing and shaming defaulters. In a related development, Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials have started gathering information from Telangana police about companies involved in the instant financing apps since the role of Chinese nationals have emerged.
After arresting 14 persons for the operation of instant loan apps, Hyderabad police have sent a requisition to remove 42 financing apps, while their Cyberabad counterparts sent a list of 116 which are on Google Play Store since it was through these apps the accused had disbursed loans and later started harassing the defaulters by shaming them. When contacted, Hyderabad joint commissioner of police (Detective Department) Avinash Mohanty confirmed writing to Google to remove the apps from the Playstore and awaiting response from Google. The role of these 158 apps came to light following omplaints lodged by victims, who were harassed by the representatives of these apps. So far, three people in the state have died by suicide after the loan app collection agents informed their contacts that they had defaulted on loans.
From the initial inputs available with investigators, Cyberabad police said many of these instant financing companies have dedicated training teams, who train their tele-callers to gain different skill sets, including intimidation tactics and hurling abuses, while approaching defaulters.