Hyderabad, Sep 22 : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday began interrogating Chinese national Yan Hao and two other accused for money laundering in an online betting scam.
The special court dealing with Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases had earlier in the day granted the ED eight days custody of Yan Hao, Dhiraj Sarkar and Ankit Kapoor.
The ED initiated its investigation into the case on the basis of FIRs lodged by the Cybercrime Station of Hyderabad Police against Dokypay Technology Private Ltd and Linkyun Technology Private Ltd and others involved in the scam.
The accused, booked for cheating and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code, were arrested by the ED on September 15 for probe into money laundering angle in the case relating to online betting apps run by Chinese nationals.
According to the ED, the suspects had floated a large number of websites to attract gullible persons to become members and to place bets on various online apps promising rewards on simple games of chance. Paytm and Cashfree were used to collect money and pay commission to these agent members.
Searches conducted by the ED at 15 locations in Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai and Pune had resulted in seizure of hard disks, laptops, phones and crucial documents. The agency also frozen Rs 46.96 crore held in four accounts in the HSBC bank.
It said an investigation under the PMLA to identify the major beneficiaries of the payouts from Paytm and HSBC Bank accounts was under progress. Summons have been issued to various persons including the Chinese nationals who are the directors of the company.
It is suspected that these websites also acted as payment aggregators for multiple apps that were banned by Google Play Store for lax technical security, data theft or betting activities.
An ED official also claimed that these companies were planning to set up a non-banking financial company for micro credit but were refused a licence by the regulatory authorities, adding that the scam could involve more than Rs 1,000 crore.
The ED said the custodial interrogation of the three accused was underway to unearth the entire scam.