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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Crypto mining ‘app’ case: ED files charge sheet against Chinese-controlled entities, others in Nagaland

 The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a charge sheet before a special PMLA court in Nagaland’s Dimapur against 299 accused persons and entities, including 76 Chinese-controlled entities, in connection with a money laundering case, officials said here on Wednesday.

ED sources said that of the 76 Chinese-controlled entities, 10 directors are of Chinese origin while two other entities are controlled by other foreign nationals.The total seizure and attachment in the case stand at Rs 455.37 crore.The special court took cognisance of the offence of money laundering in the charge sheet after finding that a prima facie case had been made under PMLA against the 299 accused persons.The ED had initiated the investigation based on an FIR registered by the cyber crime police station in Kohima under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, and Information Technology Act, in connection with the duping of gullible investors, who were promised astronomical returns on investing money to be used for the mining of Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies for which an app-based token by the name of ‘HPZ Token’ was used.The ED investigation revealed that various bank accounts and merchant IDs were opened by several shell entities having dummy directors /proprietors only for the purpose of rotation/layering of proceeds of crime, representing funds fraudulently received for illegal online gaming and betting and investment for Bitcoin mining.For an investment of Rs 57,000, returns of Rs 4,000 per day for three months were promised, but the money was paid only once, and thereafter fresh funds were sought.Earlier, the ED had conducted search operations at 44 locations throughout the country and an amount of Rs 176.67 crore, maintained by shell entities in various banks/virtual accounts, was frozen.Further, movable and immovable properties amounting to Rs 278.70 crore held in the name of the dummy entities were also attached.

(This article has been published via a syndicated feed)

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