The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has frozen close to Rs 47 crore belonging to a Chinese company allegedly running illegal betting in India.
The agency also conducted searches at 15 locations across Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai and Pune at premises associated with the company, its directors and chartered accountants. The ED has held online payment gateways accountable for alleged “lax due diligence” and “non-reporting of suspicious transactions”, which allowed this racket to flourish.
“…ED seized 17 hard disks, 5 laptops, phones, crucial incriminating documents and has also frozen Rs 46.96 crore held in 4 HSBC Bank accounts,” the agency said in a statement.
The ED case is based on an FIR registered by Telangana police after it arrested Beijing resident Yan Hao and associates Dhiraj Sarkar and Ankit Kapoor on charges of running a betting racket. Hao was identified as manager of Beijing Tomorrow Power Company.
According to ED, some Chinese nationals floated multiple Indian companies with the help of Indian chartered accountants using Indian directors to incorporate them. Later, Chinese nationals took over directorship in these firms, ED said.
“Some locals were hired and used to open accounts with HSBC Bank and open trade accounts with online wallets Paytm, Cashfree, Razorpay etc. These wallets had lax due diligence mechanisms and their non-reporting of suspicious transactions to the regulatory authorities helped the accused companies to launch pan-India operations,” the ED stated.
According to ED, once bank accounts were opened, internet access credentials were couriered by the Indian employees to China and major payment instructions came from the beneficial owners based in China. Accused companies allegedly floated a large number of similar looking websites which were hosted through Cloudfare, USA, the ED stated.