THE Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said that it has filed a chargesheet against payment gateway Razorpay, three fintech companies controlled by Chinese nationals, and as many NBFCs and some others in a money laundering probe in connection to the Chinese loan apps which allegedly cheated numerous people.

As many as seven entities and five individuals have been named as accused in the chargesheet including fintech companies Mad Elephant Network Technology Private Limited, Baryonyx Technology Private Limited and Cloud Atlas Future Technology Private Limited which are "controlled" by the Chinese nationals and three non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) registered with RBI named X10 Financial Services Private Limited, Track Fin-ed Private Limited and Jamnadas Morarjee Finance Private Limited.

According to ED, Payment gateway Razorpay Software Private Limited has also been included in the list of the accused.

In an official statement, the federal probe agency said that the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court based in Bengaluru has taken cognisance of the prosecution complaint (chargesheet).

The money laundering case of ED is based on several FIRs of the Bengaluru Police CID following complaints from various customers who had taken out loans and "faced harassment" from the recovery representative of these money-lending firms.

"ED had initiated an investigation based on the various FIRs registered by CID, Bengaluru based on the complaints received from various customers who had availed loan and faced harassment from the recovery agent of these money lending companies," said the official statement.

According to the ED, the probe found that fintech companies had "agreement with respective NBFCs for disbursement of loans through digital lending apps".

"The money-lending business was being illegally run by these fintech companies actually and these NBFCs knowingly let these firms use their names for the sake of getting commission without being careful about their conduct. The same is also a violation of the fair practices code of the Reserve Bank of India."

The agency had earlier issued two provisional attachment orders to freeze Rs 77.25 crore worth of funds kept in bank accounts and payment gateways which were later confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority of the PMLA.

(With inputs from agency)

2023-03-17T13:41:25Z dg43tfdfdgfd