ED Raids Six Bengaluru Premises In Chinese Loan App Case, Which Spread Wings In Odisha Too

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is carrying out raids at Bengaluru premises of at least three online payment gateways as part of an ongoing probe into the multi-crore Chinese loan App extortion racket, which has spread its tentacles in states like Odisha too.

The searches were launched on Friday at six premises in Karnataka capital against “illegal” instant smartphone-based loans “controlled” by Chinese persons. The search operation is in progress, reports quoting ED said. Raids are being conducted on the premises of online payment gateways like Razorpay, Paytm and Cashfree

The probe agency has reportedly seized Rs 17 crore worth funds kept in “merchant IDs and bank accounts of these Chinese persons-controlled entities”, during the raids.

The modus operandi of these entities is that they use forged documents of Indians and make them dummy directors leading to generation of “proceeds of crime”, it alleged, adding “these entities are controlled/operated by Chinese persons”.

It has come to notice that the said entities were doing their suspected/illegal business through various merchant IDs/accounts held with payment gateways/banks.

“The premises of Razorpay Pvt Ltd, Cashfree Payments, Paytm Payment Services Ltd and entities controlled/operated by Chinese persons are covered in the search operation,” the ED reportedly said.

The entities under investigation were generating proceeds of crime through various merchant IDs/accounts held with payment gateways/banks and they are also not operating from the addresses given on the MCA (ministry of corporate affairs) website/registered address and they have “fake” addresses, it said.

The ED said its money laundering case is based on at least 18 FIRs filed by the Bengaluru Police cyber crime station against “numerous entities/persons in connection with their involvement in extortion and harassment of the public who had availed small amount of loans through the mobile apps.

The loan app racket spread its tentacles in Odisha too. It may be recalled that some Chinese nationals are wanted by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Odisha Police in in connection with loan app racket. The Bureau of Immigration (BOI) has also issued lookout circular against several Chinese nationals for defrauding lakhs of people through illegal digital loan app, police said.

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