Saturday, December 2, 2023

Fraud Apps: ED conducts search operations in B’luru, Pune, Noida


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SHILLONG, Dec 14: Acting on a case registered with the Meghalaya police, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently carried out search operations under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 at various places in Bengaluru, Pune and Noida in connection with the misuse of Matrix Partners Fund (MPF) App and other related Apps.
An official of the ED told this reporter on Wednesday that an FIR was registered with the Mawlai Police Station, Shillong on November 11 last year against entities/persons behind MPF App.
The official said MPF App was found to be a “scam investment application” which lured gullible investors across the country by promising very high returns. It emerged during the course of investigation that a large number of companies were connected to this App, which ran many other Apps related to investment, loans, games, betting, rummy etc, the official said.
“The modus operandi of these entities is to register companies by using forged documents and making dummy directors, create mobile Apps and then generate proceeds of crime by collecting money through various Payment Gateways by faking/mis-declaring the nature of business related to the Apps,” the official further said.
After creating the Apps and opening bank accounts, these entities used to register themselves on various Payment Gateways as Merchants and then by using the Payin and Payout features of the Payment Gateways, they used to collect and disburse money to the public.
“When initially people got good returns or rewards, they invested more money but after a period, when a huge amount of money was collected, the people behind those Apps deactivated the Apps and disappeared with the ill-gotten money. These companies were also found not to be operating from the addresses given on the MCA website/registered address and having fake addresses, just like the dummy directors,” the official said.
During the search operations, Rs 51.11 crore was freezed in Merchant IDs and bank accounts of these entities. Further investigation is in progress, the official added.

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