ED seizes Rs 46 crore in HPZ app-based token fraud; EaseBuzz, Razorpay, Paytm under scanner

The app-based token -- The HPZ -- had promised users of large gains if they invest in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Published: 16th September 2022 05:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2022 05:14 PM   |  A+A-

The law enforcement and economic intelligence agency, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) have a crackdown on the leaders of the opposition. Here is the list of eight prominent leaders under the ED probe.

The law enforcement and economic intelligence agency, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) have a crackdown on the leaders of the opposition. Here is the list of eight prominent leaders under the ED pr

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted search operations on September 14 at various premises of banks and payment gateways across multiple locations in connection with an investigation related to the app-based token named HPZ and related entities.

It seized around Rs 46 crore and various documents in connection with this.

The ED on Friday said the search was conducted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 at six business and residential premises in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Mumbai, Lucknow, Gaya and 16 other premises of banks and payment gateways branches and offices across locations. This investigation was conducted based on an FIR filed under various sections of IPC by Cyber Crime Police Station, Kohima, Nagaland.

The app-based token -- The HPZ -- had promised users of large gains if they invest in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The fraudsters at first lure the victims to invest in the company by saying their investments will double. Payments were received through UPIs and other various payment gateways, nodal accounts and individuals.

While a part-amount was paid  to the investors, the remaining amount was diverted to various individual and company accounts through various payment gateways/banks from where partly it was siphoned off in digital/virtual currencies. After that, the fraudsters stopped the payments and the website became inaccessible, the probe agency said.

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It was found during investigation that the HPZ token was operated by Lillion Technocab and Shigoo Technology Private Limited. The agency has found that Shigoo Technology was linked to various Chinese controlled companies.

The agency said that Mad-Elephant Network Technology in agreement with X10 Financial Services Limited was operating various loan apps (Yo-Yo cash, Tufan Rupees, Coco cash etc.).

Also, Su Hui Technology Private Limited in agreement with Nimisha Finance India Private Limited had operated loan apps.

The ED found huge balances in the virtual accounts of the involved entities with payment aggregators. About Rs 33.36 crore was found with EaseBuzz, Pune, Rs. 8.21 crore with Razorpay Software Private Limited, Bengaluru, Rs 1.28 crore with Cashfree Payments India Bengaluru, and Rs 1.11 crore with Paytm Payments Services, New Delhi.

Cashfree in a statement said that it continues to extend its cooperation to the ED operations. "We were able to provide the required and necessary information within a few hours on the day of enquiry," Cashfree said.

A spokesperson from EaseBuzz clarified that none of the parties mentioned in the ED's statement belonged to its merchant base.

"The mentioned entities by authorities were only the counterparties of the merchant, who was using our payment gateway and this merchant had been proactively identified and blocked by us much before the investigation had started, as per our internal risk and compliance process," the spokesperson said.



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