Hyderabad: New details of the instant loans app scam have emerged including the suicide of one woman, agriculture extension officer Kirni Mounika, who was caught up in the racket.
25-year-old Mounika consumed poison in her home town Siddipet on December 14 and died two days later as she was being constantly harassed and defamed by the agents of the instant loan apps. She had taken out loans from various such apps and was not able to repay them in time leading to high interest rates.
Her father Bhopani revealed it started with a small loan of Rs5,000 from one such company which led to piling up of loans of Rs260,000 from various others. “It was a trap”, he said adding that when his daughter failed to clear one small loan, another similar app approached her offering a loan to repay the first one. “This way she borrowed small loans from 55 apps”, he said adding that the usurious charges led to sky rocketing of the total debt.
But how could a government employee will land in such a trap? The question had left even her own family puzzled. “While on her death bed she struggled to tell me something which I could not understand then”, her father said. But after he went through her diary a few days after her death, he found the reason for her taking loans. “She took small loans to help poor farmers in dire straits leading to default”, he said.
A day before Mounika took the extreme step under pressure from the loan sharks, her father had come to know about her ordeal and was making frantic efforts to help her. “I immediately contacted her and asked her to repay the loans immediately. I had made some arrangements and the loans were to be repaid next day”,
Rushed to hospital
But Mounika decided to end her life. On the fateful day she attended a meeting of farmers and then went to the family house in Siddipet and consumed poison. She was rushed to hospital but after two days of struggle doctors could not save her life.
After her death other employees of Telangana agriculture department collected some funds and tried to help her family. But her father declined and asked them to use the money to help needy farmers.
The details of instant loan apps driving a woman to suicide came at a time when the police investigation led to the nabbing of the main Chinese brain behind the scam, Zhu Wei alias Lambo, at Delhi airport when he was trying to flee to Frankfurt.
Police investigations revealed that he along with another Chinese woman, Yuan Yuvan alias Jennifer, had set up several front companies and was running the massive operations using dozens of apps and two big call centers. The money made through the dubious operations was then sent out of the country using the bit coin routes. Authorities estimate that an amount of about 3 billion dollars was transacted through these apps and instant loan scam over the last few months.