The Enforcement Directorate (ED) carried out search operations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Wednesday at six business and residential premises in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Mumbai, Lucknow, Gaya and 16 other premises of banks/payment gateways branches and offices in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bangalore in respect of an investigation related to the app-based token named HPZ and related entities.
A total amount of around Rs 46.67 crore was detected and frozen in various bank accounts and virtual accounts, officials said on Friday.
The ED had initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered on October 08, last year by Cyber Crime Police Station, Kohima, Nagaland.
According to the ED, the HPZ Token was an app-based token which promised users of large gains against investment by investing in mining machines for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The modus-operandi of the fraudsters was to first lure the victims to invest in the company on the pretext of doubling their investment through the app HPZ Token. Payments are received from users through UPIs and various payment gateways/nodal accounts/individuals. Part-amount was paid back to the investors and remaining amount was diverted to various individual and company accounts through various payment gateways and banks, from where partly it was siphoned off in digital/virtual currencies. After that, the fraudsters stopped the payments and the website became inaccessible.
“Investigation revealed that the HPZ token was operated by M/s Lillion Technocab Private Ltd and M/s Shigoo Technology Private Limited. M/s Shigoo Technology Private Limited was also found to be linked to various Chinese-controlled companies. It was also revealed that various other companies were indulged in receiving funds from the public on the pretext of operating various apps/websites for gaming/loans/others. ED suspected the involvement of M/s Jilian Consultants India Pvt Ltd, Gurugram in various companies involved in these frauds,” the agency claimed in a statement.
One such entity, M/s Mad-Elephant Network Technology Private Limited, in agreement with X10 Financial Services Limited, was operating various loan apps (Yo-Yo Cash, Tufan Rupees, Coco Cash, etc.). Similarly, Su Hui Technology Private Limited, in agreement with M/s Nimisha Finance India Private Limited, had operated Loan Apps, the agency claimed.
“During the search, various incriminating documents have been recovered and seized. Huge balances were found to be maintained in the virtual accounts of the involved entities with payment aggregators. 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,” the ED’s statement claimed.