NEW DELHI: The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Friday said it has raided various premises in several cities including Delhi, Ghaziabad, Mumbai, Lucknow, Gaya, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Bengaluru in respect to an investigation related to fraud in the app-based token named HPZ and related entities.
The ED carried out search operations under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 on September 14 . The raids were conducted at six business/residential premises in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Mumbai, Lucknow, Gaya and 16 other premises of banks/payment gateways’ branches/offices in Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Bengaluru.
The ED initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR bearing dated October 8, 2021 filed under various sections of IPC by Cyber Crime Police Station, Kohima, Nagaland.
The HPZ Token was an app-based token which promised users large gains against investment 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 were received from users through UPIs and other 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/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 Lillion Technocab Pvt Ltd and Shigoo Technology Pvt Ltd . Shigoo Technology Pvt Ltd was also found linked to various Chinese-controlled companies.
It was also revealed that various other companies were receiving funds from the public on the pretext of operating various apps/websites for gaming/loans/others. The ED suspected the involvement of Jilian Consultants India Pvt Ltd, Gurugram, behind various companies involved in these frauds.
One such entity, Mad-Elephant Network Technology Pvt Ltd, in agreement with X10 Financial Services Ltd, was operating various loan apps (Yo-Yo cash, Tufan Rupees, Coco cash, etc.). Similarly, Su Hui Technology Pvt Ltd, in agreement with Nimisha Finance India Pvt Ltd, had operated loan apps.
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.
An amount of Rs 33.36 crore was found with Easebuzz Pvt Ltd, Pune, Rs 8.21 crore with Razorpay Software Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru, Rs 1.28 crore with Cashfree Payments India Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru, and Rs 1.11 crore with Paytm Payments Services Limited, New Delhi. Total amount of around Rs 46.67 crore was detected and frozen in various bank accounts and virtual accounts. Further investigation is under progress, ED said. (ANI)