Bengaluru

Mobile app investment scam kingpin in ED custody

Enforcement Directorate officials, on Thursday, took the kingpin of the mobile app investment scam, Anas Ahmed, into six days custody after booking him under sections of the Prevention of Money laundering Act (PMLA).

Anas Ahmed, a Kerala-based businessman, has been accused in a money-laundering case in connection with a fraud committed through Powerbank and other such fraudulent mobile applications.

In June 2021, the cybercrime police of CID arrested 11 persons, including Anas Ahmed, allegedly involved in the collection of hundreds of crores of rupees from people through an app called ‘Powerbank’. Sources said that it has been found that the accused were conducting transactions through the hawala route.

The ED officials had initiated money laundering investigation into the operations of accused entities that induced the public to invest certain amount through Powerbank and other such fraudulent apps by assuring to remit interest on daily or weekly basis on the investments made.

The accused entities closed their purported business after collecting huge sums of money from gullible public and had gone incommunicado. They neither paid interest nor returned the principal amount to the public and withheld the investment made by public which had resulted in the commission of cheating offences. Anas Ahmed is a partner in two accused firms, namely H&S Ventures Inc and Clifford Ventures., the ED said.

These two partnership firms have been responsible for collection of approximately ₹84 crore from members of the public, officials said, adding that Anas Ahmed has Chinese links and is suspected of being the mastermind of the whole racket.

Anas Ahmed indulged into corrupt and illegal activities through his partnership firms by deviating from the declared line of business and other activities of gaming and has collected money from public under the guise of investment schemes through fraudulent apps. The proceeds generated through criminal activities have been layered through a number of shell entities to remit out of India and also invest into crypto currencies, a release said.

“Anas Ahmed was in judicial custody and lodged at the Puzhal Central Prison in Chennai in a similar offence booked by CB, CID of Chennai. The Principal City Civil and Sessions and Special Judge for PMLA Cases, Bengaluru has granted six days of custody of Anas Ahmed to the ED officials on Thursday for inquiring into the fraud committed, and further investigation is underway,” a release from Enforcement Directorate stated.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 12:26:44 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/mobile-app-investment-scam-kingpin-in-ed-custody/article38298926.ece