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Chinese Loan Apps: ED Freezes Fresh Money from ₹ 9.82 cr; checklist of names

The ED is frozen 9.82 crore worth of funds held in merchant IDs at certain online payment gateways

The ED is frozen 9.82 crore value held in merchant IDs at certain online payment gateways as part of an ongoing money laundering investigation against a “China-controlled” investment token app.

This is the second time the ED has frozen merchant ID balances at certain online payment gateways.

“Several China controlled entities such as Comein Network Technology Private Limited and others, in service agreements with various NBFCs (Non-Banking Financial Firms) also exploited multiple suspicious loans/other apps such as Cashhome, Cashmart, Easyloan etc. funds from the public under the pretense to use these apps (mobile applications),” the federal agency said in a statement.

The app-based token under investigation in this case is HPZ and the entities whose assets have been frozen under the Anti-Money Laundering Act are Comein Network Technology Private Ltd, Mobicred Technology Private Ltd, Magic Data Technology Private Ltd, Baitu Technology Private Ltd, Aliyeye Network Technology India Pvt Ltd, Wecash Technology Private Ltd, Larting Private Ltd, Magic Bird Technology Private Ltd and Acepearl Services Private Ltd.

“Worth Account Balances 9.82 crore from various China-controlled entities maintained with payment gateways, related to an investigation regarding the misuse of app-based token called HPZ and other similar applications by various entities, has been frozen,” the ED said.

The Enforcement Directorate had undertaken a similar operation earlier this month, freezing assets worth 46.67 crores. The agency stated that these funds belonged to certain trading entities and were held in payment gateways such as Easebuzz, Razorpay, Cashfree and Paytm.

These companies claimed that the funds were not theirs and fully cooperated with the ED in this investigation.

HPZ was an app-based token that promised users big profits against investments by declaring the same as “investing in mining machines for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies”.

“The fraudsters’ modus operandi was to first entice the victims to invest in their companies under the pretense of doubling/multiplying their investment through the HPZ token and other similar applications,” the agency said.

The money laundering case stems from an October 2021 FIR filed by the cybercrime unit of the Kohima Police in Nagaland against the accused company and individuals associated with it. PTI NES DV DV

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