The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has carried out search operations at the Bengaluru premises of online payment gateways like Razorpay, Paytm and Cashfree as part of an ongoing probe against illegal instant smartphone-based loans controlled by Chinese persons.
These searches were launched on Friday at six premises in Bengaluru and the operation is in progress, a statement by ED said.
The statement informed that an amount of Rs 17 crore has been seized in merchant IDs and bank accounts of these Chinese persons-controlled entities.
“During enquiries, it has emerged that these entities are controlled/operated by Chinese Persons. The modus operandi of these entities is by using forged documents of Indians and making them as dummy directors of those entities, they are generating proceeds of crime,” ED said.
The agency said that the entities in question were doing their suspected/illegal business through various Merchant IDs/Accounts held with Payment Gateways/banks.
“The premises of Razorpay Pvt Ltd, Cashfree Payments, Paytm Payment Services Ltd and entities controlled/operated by Chinese Persons are covered in the search operation,” said ED.
Well, on this matter Paytm spokesperson said, “We are supporting law enforcement agencies, who are investigating a specific set of merchants. The authorities reached out to us with directions to provide certain information about these merchants under scrutiny, to which we promptly responded. We continue to cooperate with the authorities and remain fully compliant.”
While Cashfree Payments’ spokesperson said, "We extended our diligent co-operation to the ED operations, providing them the required and necessary information on the same day of enquiry. Our operations and on-boarding processes adhere to the PMLA and KYC directions, and we will continue to do so."
Also the Razorpay spokesperson said, "A few of our merchants were being investigated by law enforcement about a year and a half back. As part of the ongoing investigation, the authorities requested additional information to help with the investigation. We have fully cooperated and shared KYC and other details. The authorities were satisfied by our due diligence process."