HYDERABAD: Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday froze 29.5 crore found lying in bank accounts of various companies involved in the alleged HPZ Token fraud, a cryptocurrency scam. The fraudsters allegedly duped thousands, including those from Hyderabad, using HPZ Token cryptocurrency scam.
ED had earlier carried out search operations under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Salem regarding the HPZ app. In addition, the Registrar of Companies (RoC), Hyderabad, had investigated certain companies based locally.
The money laundering case was booked based on a FIR registered in October 2021 against the company and its linked persons by the Cyber Crime police station, Kohima, Nagaland.
“HPZ Token was an app-based token which promised users of high returns against ‘investment’ in mining machines for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies,” ED said.
The agency’s investigation revealed that two entities – Lillian Technocab Private Limited and Shigoo Technology Private Limited – were involved in operating and collecting money from investors in the name of HPZ Token.
“Further investigations revealed that one Bhupesh Arora with others had control over Shigoo Technology Private limited and he indulged in operating unregistered gaming apps/website in this company and various other entities and was collecting money fraudulently from the public in the garb of these apps/website,” ED added. ED had also conducted searches on an entity based in Chennai and related persons involved in laundering of proceeds of crime in crypto assets.
During the searches, ED had discovered 29.5 crore lying in various bank/Demat accounts and froze the money under PMLA. Incriminating documents and digital evidences were also found during the search. ED has so far frozen 86.5 crore in case now.
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