ED raids Bengaluru offices of Razorpay, Paytm, Cashfree in Chinese loan apps case

NEW DELHI, Sept 3: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) continued its raids for the second day on Saturday at six premises in Karnataka in connection with an ongoing probe against “illegal” instant smartphone-based loans “controlled” by Chinese persons.
The raids were launched on Friday under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, at Bengaluru premises of online payment gateways like Razorpay, Paytm and Cashfree, according to a statement.
The search operations were in progress at the time of filing the report.
The federal agency said the case is based on at least 18 FIRs filed by the cyber crime unit of the Bengaluru Police 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”.
An amount of ₹17 crore has been seized in merchant IDs and bank accounts of these Chinese persons-controlled entities, the central agency said.
The modus operandi of these entities is that they use forged documents of Indians and make them dummy directors leading to generation of “proceeds of crime”, the ED 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 were generating proceeds of crime through various merchant IDs/accounts held with payment gateways/banks and they are also not operating from the addresses given on the MCA (ministry of corporate affairs) website/registered address and they have “fake” addresses, the agency said. (Agencies)