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Illegal smartphone-based loans: ED raids premises of Razorpay, Paytm and Cashfree

The Enforcement Directorate announced on Saturday that as part of a continuing investigation into "illegal" immediate smartphone-based loans "managed" by Chinese individuals, raids are being conducted at the Bengaluru offices of online payment gateways like Razorpay, Paytm, and Cashfree.

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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate announced on Saturday that as part of a continuing investigation into “illegal” immediate smartphone-based loans “managed” by Chinese individuals, raids are being conducted at the Bengaluru offices of online payment gateways like Razorpay, Paytm, and Cashfree.

Six locations in the capital city of Karnataka were the target of the searches, ED said in a statement. The Enforcement Directorate reported that the search operation was underway. The federal investigation agency claimed that during the raids, it had taken money worth Rs 17 crore from “merchant IDs and bank accounts of these Chinese persons-controlled organisations.”

It was claimed that the way these businesses operate is to create “proceeds of crime” by using falsified Indians’ identification documents to make them dummy directors.

“These entities are controlled/operated by Chinese persons,” it said. “It has come to notice that the said entities were doing their suspected/illegal business through various merchant IDs/accounts held with payment gateways/banks.” “The premises of Razorpay Pvt Ltd, Cashfree Payments, Paytm Payment Services Ltd and entities controlled/operated by Chinese persons are covered in the search operation,” the ED said.

The entities under investigation, according to the agency, are not operating from the addresses listed on the MCA (ministry of corporate affairs) website or registered address and instead use “fake” addresses. The entities under investigation were generating proceeds of crime through various merchant IDs/accounts held with payment gateways/banks.

The ED said its money laundering case is based on at least 18 FIRs filed by the Bengaluru Police cyber crime station against “numerous entities/persons in connection with their involvement in extortion and harassment of the public who had availed small amount of loans through the mobile apps being run by those entities/persons.”

 

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