Enforcement Directorate Strikes Rs 123 Crore Blow Against Chinese Betting Apps

An important milestone was the announcement made by the Indian government’s top law enforcement body, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), that bank deposits worth Rs 123 crore had been frozen. The action comes after the Prevention of Money Laundering Act was applied to ten different sites in Mumbai, Chennai, and Kochi, resulting in thorough searches.

The searches on February 23 and 24 targeted a number of organizations, including NIUM India Pvt Ltd, Xoduz Solution Pvt Ltd, Vikrah Trading Enterprises Pvt Ltd, and others, according to disclosures made by the ED. The goal of the investigation was to find proof of illicit internet lending, gaming, or betting apps that were supposedly under Chinese control.

The searches yielded significant findings, including digital devices, incriminating documents, and multiple bank accounts linked to money laundering activities. ED officials also uncovered details of movable and immovable assets belonging to the accused individuals and entities.

ED elaborated that the investigation primarily focused on tracking the proceeds of crime associated with illicit online activities, particularly through mule accounts in Kerala. The agency aims to dismantle the complex network used for laundering funds generated from fraudulent online loan, gambling, or betting apps.

Further revelations by ED shed light on the sophisticated methods employed by the accused. Funds were allegedly collected through shell companies across multiple Indian states and remitted outside India via various channels, including cryptocurrency transactions and fake imports of software from Singapore.

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It is alleged that the defendants created many shell businesses in India to help transfer illegal monies to shell firms in Singapore. Fake invoices processed by international currency settlement platforms were used to carefully mask the source of the profits of crime in these transactions.

ED drew attention to shortcomings in the documentation processes, namely with regard to NIUM India Pvt Ltd, which purportedly only gathered fraudulent invoices as supporting documents. The concealing of unlawful transactions from banking and monitoring authorities was made possible by this inadequate control.

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