BENGALURU: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued Provisional Attachment Order attaching assets worth Rs 40.64 crore of crime proceeds in a more than Rs 300-crore App-based investment fraud case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.
The case about massive fraud committed by a number of dubious merchants, who had taken investments from people after routing the transactions through fraudulent Apps using services of payment solution providers, is being investigated by the Cyber Crime Division (CCD), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Karnataka.
According to the ED, “The accused entities induced the public to invest through Powerbank/Sunfactory Apps by assuring to remit interest on a daily or weekly basis. They closed their purported business after collecting huge sums of money from gullible public. They neither paid interest nor did they return the principal amount to the investors. They withheld their investments through Powerbank and other such fraudulent Apps,” the Central agency stated.
The ED had initiated the investigation under the PMLA on the basis of an FIR dated June 1, registered by the CCD, CID, under Sections 420 of the IPC and 66(D) of the Information Technology Act.
“The investigation revealed that the accused entities committed massive fraud and cheated the public by accepting investment in crores of rupees by setting up a merchant account imitating a seemingly legitimate business and fraudulently availed payment solutions from payment gateway and payment solution companies. The accused floated untenable investment schemes through Apps listed on Google Playstore.
They promised huge returns on the invested amount on a daily or weekly basis, but went incommunicado after collecting more than Rs 300 crore. The funds were stashed into the accused entities’ bank accounts,” the ED stated.
The Central revenue enforcement agency, after identifying assets worth Rs 40.64 crore in the form of movable properties, credit balance in the bank accounts of the accused and amount withheld with the payment solution providers, has provisionally attached the same under PMLA.