Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is probing a group of 150 bank accounts belonging to shell firms that were allegedly sending abroad proceeds of crime generated from illegal online betting in the name of non-existent import deals. The agency has so far frozen Rs49.15 crore lying in some of these accounts.
The accounts were found to be connected to a fin-tech firm and were allegedly involved in transactions related to the placing of bets on an illegal betting site, ED sources said. “It was found that the accused were operating through a private communication platform and providing the login ID and password to those who wanted to place the bets on speculation games such as ‘Teen Patti’, ‘Rummy’, ‘Andar Bahar’, ‘Poker’ and also on live games, including cricket matches,” an ED official said.
Proceeds of crime being routed in the name of various fictitious entities
Those placing bets were allegedly asked to deposit money in their accounts for credits or coins through online mode, using the login ID and password. The probe found that the proceeds of crime were allegedly being routed through bank accounts in the name of various fictitious entities through multiple layers.
During its search operations, the agency froze Rs3.05 crore lying in 10 such accounts underthe provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Besides, the agency froze Rs46.10 crore lying in other accounts found to have been routed through dummy entities, the sources said. The accused in the case had also allegedly used a bank account in the name of a person, without his knowledge, for transacting Rs170.70 crore of betting money.
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