Police have received a court order to quiz in custody two Chinese nationals and five Bangladeshis on charges of duping people into a fraudulent scheme under cover of digital microfinance.
Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Debobrata Biswas on Friday also ordered five other Bangladeshis to jail in a case under the Digital Security Act, reports bdnews24.com.
The remanded Chinese nationals are Hi Minxi and Yang Ciki, and Bangladeshis are Majumder Fazle Gofran, Ahsan Kamal, Himel Or Rashid, Nazmus Sakib and Jerin Tasnim Binte Islam.
Those sent to jail are Emanuel Edward Gomez, Arifuzzaman, Shahinoor Alam, Shuvo Gomez and Akram Ali.
Investigator Pran Krishna Sarker, a sub-inspector at Detective Branch’s Cyber and Special Crime Unit, produced the 12 accused in court in the case with Dhanmondi police.
The sub-inspector sought a 10-day remand for the seven people, while the defence lawyers pleaded for their bail, said Md Esharat Ali, a sub-inspector of court police.
Police said the accused ran Thunder Light Techhnology Limited, New Vision Fintech Limited and Basic Development Society without the government’s approval.
Their apps collected information from the clients’ mobile phones, such as calendar events, camera, contact, location and messages, compromising personal data security.
The suspects ran credit businesses with high interests in the name of unsecured loans through apps like Tikala, Cashman, Rapid Cash and Mar Cash, which have servers in China and operated from the country.
Some Chinese nationals lured clients into a fraud scheme in the name of low-interest loans through the apps, police said.
The case was filed after a customer complained to the police.
On Thursday, police detained 18 employees of New Miracle Fintech Bangladesh on their way to a picnic from their Baridhara DOHS office.
The development comes amid ramped-up investigations into e-commerce firms that allegedly swindled customers and sellers out of billions of takas in the name of huge discounts.
Police said Chinese owners of New Miracle were running unauthorised lending operations by using Bangladeshis in the name of microcredit. The company charges 100 per cent monthly interest on the loans, according to the law enforcers.