The Enforcement Directorate Friday said it has frozen 93 bank accounts and seized Rs 3.44 crore as part of a money laundering investigation linked to an illegal online betting case in Gujarat.
The action was taken under the criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after the federal agency on Thursday searched five accounts held at an IDFC First Bank branch in Surat.
The case pertains to alleged betting activities carried out through "fake and dummy" bank accounts by Harish alias Kamlesh Jariwala and others. The bets were being placed on mobile apps called CBTF247.com and T20 EXCHANGE.com, the ED said in a statement.
Following the search in the bank, Rs 3.44 crore deposited in five accounts held by Mitalia Enterprise, R M Enterprise, D M Enterprises, Vishwakarma Traders and XBT Labs Pvt. Ltd. with IDFC First Bank has been frozen under the provisions of the PMLA, it said.
Further, 93 bank accounts, including the five bank accounts, "related and involved in layering/transfer of proceeds of crime have been ordered to be debit freezed", the probe agency said.
It is alleged that Jariwala as part of a "criminal conspiracy with Rushikesh Adhikar Shinde and Huzefa Kausar Masakarwala obtained identity documents of various people, prepared fake rent agreements in their names, obtained mobile phone SIM cards and licenses for dummy firms".
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The login IDs/passwords and SIM cards were sold to Masakarwala for transferring the funds obtained from illegal betting apps CBTF247.com and T20 EXCHANGE.com and these bank accounts were opened in the names of "fictitious entities for routing and layering of money", it said.
The ED case of money laundering stems from an FIR of the Surat Police crime branch filed against the accused.
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