Mega-raids in several cities in Nepal reveal China’s hand

A suspected Chinese national, some Indians and dozens of local Nepalese arrested in mega raids in the Nepalese capital; cops seize scripts used to make harassing calls in different parts of the world

Nepalese cops seized computers and laptops

Nearly a month after this newspaper’s correspondent traveled to the neighboring country to find out about the harassing calls a Mumbai resident was receiving from there, Nepalese police have dismantled three call centers which were calling instant loan borrowers through different apps. One of the dismantled centers is in the capital, Kathmandu, from where police arrested a suspected Chinese national on Monday. The deputy inspector general of the Nepalese police said at midday that they had also arrested Indians.

MID-DAY was the first to point out that the loan app scam has ties to Nepal as well as China. Mumbai police, while investigating two cases, traced the IP address of WhatsApp calls made to the victims to Nepal. This newspaper’s reporter, Samiullah Khan, even visited the ISP’s office in Nepal, but the people there refused to divulge any details.

Arrested several people working at the call center
Arrested several people working at the call center

Nepali police, while speaking on the phone at midday on Monday, said they carried out raids in Kathmandu, Rupandehi and Butwal based on information provided by their informants. Nepali Police Deputy Inspector General Tek Prasad Rai said at midday: “The raids in Kathmandu, which started on Monday afternoon, are still continuing. So far, we have arrested 27 people, including a foreign (Chinese) national, and seized numerous computers, laptops, cell phones, SIM cards and routers.

120 detainees from a center

According to sources within the Nepal Police, the officers carried out raids in different parts of the country. The first raid was carried out on Saturday in the town of Butwal, in western Nepal, near the Indian border. They destroyed a call center there and arrested 120 people.

“Our main information shows that the defendants were illegally running the call center and making harassing calls in different parts of the world, including India and Nepal. they offered [instant] loans, then center employees made calls to retrieve the same. We found scripts [harassment/recovery calls] and are investigating the same,” Rai said.

Cops seize laptops and computers from Kathmandu call center
Cops seize laptops and computers from Kathmandu call center

They carried out the second raid on Sunday in Rupandehi, another nearby town on the Indian border, and apprehended 13 people and seized computers and laptops. When asked if there had been any communications from Indian authorities about cyber crooks operating from Nepal, Rai said, “We never received any communication. [from India]. Regarding these raids, they were based on our own contribution and we have also arrested many people involved in cybercrime in the past.

Managers could be strangers

The suspected Chinese national arrested in Kathmandu may be behind the three call centers, according to Nepalese police. However, they are investigating further. “We are unable to confirm who the dog handlers are, but some foreign nationals are believed to be behind this,” said Rai, who is also a spokesman for Nepal’s Central Police and is in charge of the police. information.

One of the call centers operated from this building in the town of Butwal. Nepali police arrested 120 people from here

In most of the cases investigated by the police in Mumbai and other districts, the handlers of recovery agents were found to be operating from Nepal. However, the Mumbai Crime Branch did not approach Interpol for further investigation. Rai said: “If we receive any communication [from India], we will be happy to work on it. If Indian nationals receive calls from Nepalese numbers, they can also write to us. Indian authorities have yet to communicate with Nepalese authorities to assist with investigations.

Deputy Inspector General of Nepal Police, Tek Prasad Rai
Deputy Inspector General of Nepal Police, Tek Prasad Rai

During searches in the three cities, the Nepalese police also discovered that the defendants were operating via WhatsApp, as the messaging site was active with different numbers on the computers. Two suicides linked to harassment by recovery workers have been reported in Mumbai and Mira Road this year. Following this newspaper’s series of reports, the state government formed a task force that began filing harassment complaints.

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