Mumbai: Enforcement Directorate freezes ₹29.5 crores in app-based token fraud

Mumbai: Enforcement Directorate freezes ₹29.5 crores in app-based token fraud

The HPZ was an app-based token that promised users high returns against investments in mining machines for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. ED conducted searches in five cities including Mumbai during which they found various incriminating materials.

Abhishek SharanUpdated: Thursday, February 16, 2023, 08:06 AM IST
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Enforcement Directorate (ED) | File Image

After conducting search operations in Mumbai and four other cities, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) froze funds worth Rs 29.5 crore and collected various incriminating documents as part of its money-laundering probe into a case of alleged misuse of app-based token and similar applications by two firms, agency sources said on Wednesday.

In all, the ED has, so far, frozen funds worth Rs 86.5 crore that is suspected to be proceeds of crime in the case. The companies had allegedly fraudulently collected investments promising higher returns.

“The HPZ was an app-based token that promised users high returns against investments in mining machines for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” the source said.

Accused were operating non-registered gaming apps/ websites

During the action, the agency collected digital evidence thatis being assessed for its evidentiary value. The probe, so far, has revealed that two firms, Lillian Technocab Pvt Ltd and Shigoo Technology Private Limited, were allegedly involved in HPZ token’s operation and collection of funds from investors.

“Further investigation revealed that one Bhupesh Arora, with others, had the control over Shigoo Technology Pvt Ltd. He was indulging in the operation of non-registered gaming apps/websites in this company and various other entities. He was collecting money fraudulently from the gullible public in the garb of these apps/websites,” the source said.

The frozen funds were found in bank/ DEMAT accounts. Apart from Mumbai, the agency’s searches took place at premises associated with the accused in Delhi, Gurugram (Haryana), Bengaluru (Karnataka) and Salem (Tamil Nadu).

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