Delhi police investigates money laundering scheme by foreign gaming companies targeting Indian players

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The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police is investigating into a case following a complaint by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleging a money laundering scheme involving foreign-based online gaming companies targeting Indian players. Operated through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and concealed identities, these schemes have sparked concerns regarding financial fraud and illicit payment practices among law enforcement agencies.

As reported by The New Indian Express, according to a senior EOW official, the ED’s information points to foreign online gaming entities offering access to Indian players through VPNs or by masking their true identities as overseas gaming platforms. “These websites, registered abroad, are linked to Indian bank accounts. Allegedly, individuals involved were gathering funds from the public and channeling them out of India using illegal methods such as Foreign Outward Remittance against fictitious import of services/goods without actual business activities,” stated DCP (EOW) Vikram Porwal.

Reports indicate the presence of a transnational racket operating not only in India but also in countries like China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, and others. Members of this syndicate, in collusion, are purportedly engaged in large-scale money laundering and international Hawala money transfers.

The companies involved were found to be registered under various employees’ names using falsified documents to facilitate the collection and routing of proceeds from online gaming through foreign-registered gaming platforms, according to the police. The scale of the operation is significant, with the ED complaint revealing 188 bank accounts linked to 167 domestic firms and 110 accounts associated with 105 foreign entities. Of the foreign companies identified, 46 are reportedly based in China, 30 in Singapore, 18 in Hong Kong, 7 in the UAE, 2 in Malaysia, 1 in Thailand, and 1 in Mauritius.

Allegedly, individuals involved in the scheme retained blank cheque books from dummy firms/companies after acquiring/forging signatures on blank checks. They also procured mobile connections using forged and fabricated IDs to conceal their true identities. The police have initiated an investigation into the matter after registering an FIR.