The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) Cybercrime Wing announced on Friday that it had arrested nine suspects for allegedly blackmailing victims through predatory online loan apps.
According to an agency official, the raids were carried out in the Saidpur Road area, and complaints were also filed against 19 other individuals.
Inspector Badar Munir sealed various offices of the company located in a commercial plaza during the raid.
According to the statement, the suspects were given a daily objective of making 100 to 150 calls to persons who had used the apps, as well as their friends and family.
The document further stated that distinct sections dealt with “torture calls” in the aforementioned offices.
“In terms of making calls, each section was assigned separate tasks.” The portions were labeled D-0, D-1, D-2, DS-1, DS-2, and DS-3, according to the statement.
It went on to say that the personal data of the residents was accessed via the loan apps and was then used to harass the impacted citizens.
During the operation, the FIA recovered a considerable amount of documents, PCs, laptops, and SIM cards.
The investigating agency also stated that the suspects have been apprehended and that an inquiry has been launched, and that raids are being performed to apprehend further individuals.
On the other hand, a concerned person reported to FIA Cybercrime Karachi about the issue of blackmailing individuals through online lending apps. However, no action has yet been done.
The FIA launched an investigation when debt-ridden Muhammad Masood, 42, committed suicide earlier this week after being pressured and intimidated by app staff into repaying borrowed money with exorbitant interest.
He had taken out an initial loan of Rs13,000, but due to missed deadlines and exorbitant interest, he owed more than Rs700,000 to two lenders.
The accused had threatened to release personal data from Muhammad Masood’s cell phone, who had described the story of the app employees’ blackmailing in his last message.
He mentioned being harassed and blackmailed by staff from the online loan app, putting him under pressure to pay the interest and loan amount.
The three-person FIA team also took the victim’s phone and studied his emails, including correspondence with the digital lender. They also recorded the deceased’s wife and brother’s statements.