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December 8, 2021

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13 detained for rigging mobiles over loan scheme

Thirteen suspects have been detained for allegedly running a loan-sharking scheme in which they threatened their victims by rigging their mobile phones, Shanghai police said yesterday.

Police in Minhang District launched an investigation after a man surnamed Wu reported his case in August.

Wu said he was loaned 200 yuan (US$31) by a company over the Internet earlier that month and agreed to pay 400 yuan back after three days. He was told to download an app and give his phone’s information, including the password, to the other party.

Wu was told by the company’s customer service that they required his phone data because the amount of the loan was determined by the value of his phone.

Since he was not able to return the loan in time, his phone was somehow paralyzed. After he managed to contact the customer service of the loan company, he was threatened with insults to return the money, police said.

Wu was also told to pay a penalty of 100 yuan per day for not returning the loan in time.

Through their investigation, police found that the suspects managed to rig Wu’s phone via the app Wu was told to download.

Since July this year, the suspects have gained over 260,000 yuan in profits through the scam, according to police.

The suspects, including those who dealt with loan seekers and those who developed the app, were located in Jiangsu, Liaoning and Guangdong provinces as well as in Beijing and Shanghai. They have been apprehended by police.

The suspects have confessed to the crime, police said.

Five of the suspects have been arrested on charges of conducting illegal business, while eight others are still under restrictive measures from police.


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