Hundreds of Chinese-controlled apps siphon thousands of crores from India


Hundreds of Chinese-controlled apps siphon thousands of crores from India

New Delhi: The Law Enforcement (ED) Directorate through its multiple investigations has found that more than hundreds of Chinese-controlled apps, including those involved in lending services and betting, have been hijacking thousands of crores of Indian Rupees with the help of Chartered Accountants.

“With the help of chartered accountants, dummy Indian directors were first used to set up the companies and after some time Chinese nationals came to India and took over the running of these companies,” he said. reported the ToI daily citing ED sources.

ED investigations revealed that some Chinese nationals illegally launched several Indian companies, collecting thousands of crores in revenue and repatriating them to China. The embezzlement of money from the country somehow went undetected by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

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The heightened concern has led to a crackdown on hundreds of Chinese-controlled mobile apps linked to loans, dating and betting in India.

During the investigation of these Chinese-controlled entities, the ED found more than 100 apps related to lending, betting and dating, which are controlled from China, the daily reported. The betting apps alone brought in revenue of Rs 1,300 crore, according to the agency.

After freezing Rs 47 crore in HSBC bank owned Chinese betting and dating apps two years ago for illegal money transfers to China, the ED has focused on payment gateways, including understood Paytm, Cashfree and Razorpay for not reporting these high value transactions to the FIU. This led to Rs 17 crore being seized last week from these wallets, believed to belong to owners of Chinese lending apps and related entities. These apps and their Indian conduits have also been involved in “public extortion and harassment”.

“It is suspected that in addition to engaging in prohibited activities like online betting, this network of companies, with its reliance on online wallets and lax regulatory systems, could also have been used for hawala transactions,” said the ED.

The federal agency is coordinating with banks and regulators to take further action against these Indian payment gateways.

Indians were hired to open bank and business accounts and to threaten “defaults” with loans given at very high interest.

“The lax due diligence mechanisms of these payment gateways and their failure to report suspicious transactions to regulatory authorities have aided the defendants in initiating pan-India operations,” the ED said in one of its restraining orders. seizure.

“Once the bank accounts were opened, the internet access credentials were mailed by the Indian employees to China and the main payment instructions came from the beneficial owners who were securely settled in China,” said he declared.

The investigation revealed that these Chinese nationals launched a large number of similar-looking websites hosted by Cloudfare, in the United States.
“These websites have enticed gullible people to become members and use its services through various online applications,” ED said. Even agents have been hired to attract customers through special closed groups created through Telegram and WhatsApp.

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