Chinese loan apps: ED freezes over Rs 46 crore worth funds kept in payment gateway accounts
Sixteen premises of banks and payment gateways in Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bengaluru in respect of an investigation related to an app-based token named HPZ and related entities were also covered.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said it has frozen Rs 46.67 crore worth funds kept in payment gateways such as Razorpay, Easebuzz, Cashfree and Paytm after it carried out raids this week against Chinese-controlled loan apps and investment tokens.
The funds have been frozen under the anti-money laundering law. The searches were launched on September 14 at multiple premises of the accused in Delhi, Mumbai, Ghaziabad, Lucknow and Gaya.
In a statement, the federal agency said that sixteen premises of banks and payment gateways in Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bengaluru in respect of an investigation related to an app-based token named HPZ and related entities were also covered.
The money laundering case stems from an October, 2021 FIR filed by the cyber crime unit of Kohima Police in Nagaland, it said.
"During the search, various incriminating documents have been recovered and seized," it said.
"Huge balances were found to be maintained in the virtual accounts of the involved entities with payment aggregators like Rs 33.36 crore was found with Easebuzz Private Limited, Pune, Rs 8.21 crore with Razorpay Software Private Limited, Bangalore, Rs 1.28 crore with Cashfree Payments India Private Limited, Bangalore and Rs 1.11 crore with Paytm Payments Services Limited, New Delhi," it said.
An amount of Rs 46.67 crore was detected and freezed in various bank accounts and virtual accounts, the ED said.
Earlier this month, the ED conducted raids at six locations in Karnataka in connection with an ongoing probe against "illegal" instant smartphone-based loans "controlled" by Chinese persons.
The raids were reportedly launched on September 2 under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, at Bengaluru premises of online payment gateways like Razorpay, Paytm and Cashfree.