Delhi EOW probes money laundering by foreign-based online gaming firms

Out of 105 foreign companies, 46 are based in China, 30 in Singapore, 18 in Hong Kong, 07 in UAE, 02 in Malaysia, 01 in Thailand and 01 in Mauritius.
Delhi Police.
Delhi Police.(File photo)

NEW DELHI: The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police has registered a case and initiated a probe after a complaint by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleged that a money laundering racket involving foreign-based online gaming companies are exploiting Indians.

These schemes, orchestrated through VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) and masked identities, have also raised serious concerns about financial fraud and illegal remittance practices among security agencies.

A senior EOW officer said information was received from the ED that foreign online gaming companies are providing access to Indian residents through VPN (Virtual Private Network) or masking their actual identity as foreign online gaming websites.

“These websites are registered in foreign countries and all of them are linked with Indian bank accounts. By using this modus operandi, alleged persons were collecting money from the general public and sending the said money out of India by using illegal means such as Foreign Outward Remittance against import of service/goods without actual business activities,” DCP (EOW) Vikram Porwal said.

As per the inputs, a racket is active in India as well as in other countries, like China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and other countries and the members of the gang, in connivance with each other, are engaged in large scale money laundering as well as international Hawala money transfers.

The firms were found to be registered in the name of various employees/hired persons by using fabricated/forged documents for the purpose of collection/routing/outward foreign remittances of proceeds of crime from online gaming by the foreign registered gaming websites, police said.

The extent of the operation is staggering, with the ED complaint revealing the existence of 188 bank accounts linked to 167 domestic firms and 110 accounts associated with 105 foreign companies.

Out of 105 foreign companies, 46 are based in China, 30 in Singapore, 18 in Hong Kong, 07 in UAE, 02 in Malaysia, 01 in Thailand and 01 in Mauritius.

The alleged people retained the blank cheque books of the dummy firms/companies after obtaining/forging signatures on blank leaves. They would procure mobile connections on forged and fabricated IDs to hide their actual identity.

The police have now registered an FIR and initiated a probe into the case.

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