Home CITY UPDATES ED questions TV actors in fraud forex trading app case

ED questions TV actors in fraud forex trading app case

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Mumbai, Jul 3 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday recorded the statement of two television actors here as part of a money laundering investigation linked to the operations of an “illegal” online forex trading platform that is alleged to have duped investors to the tune of Rs 500 crore, official sources said.

The sources said actors Krystel Dsouza and Karan Wahi were called for questioning in order to elicit information about some payments being made for promotions of the app named OctaFx which also had a website — www.octafx.com.

The statements of the two have been recorded as the ED is investigating this case under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.

Another TV actor and model Nia Sharma has also been summoned, the sources said.

It is understood that the agency wants to understand the operations of the platform and these actors may not be seen as wrongdoers or accused.

The money laundering case of the ED stems from a Pune Police (Shivaji Nagar police station) FIR filed against the app and its promoters who are alleged to have duped numerous investors by luring them with high returns.

The federal agency had earlier said that the app (OCTAFX) and its website were “not authorised” by RBI to deal in forex trading.

It had said that the platform was widely promoted on social networking sites and is following referral-based incentive models for acquiring users.

“It has emerged in the investigation that multiple accounts of different Indian banks were being shown to investors/users on OctaFx trading app/www.octafx.com for collecting funds in the guise of facilitating forex trading.

“It was found that OctaFx has manipulated trade activities and information shown on its platform ultimately resulting in net loss to the traders,” the ED alleged in a statement after it conducted raids against the company and its promoters in April in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi.

These accumulated funds, after “defrauding” these investors/users, were transferred to multiple e-wallet accounts or to bank accounts of dummy entities, it claimed.

“This way, OctaFx India Pvt Ltd, OctaFx, and their entities have cheated investors in the guise of forex trading thereby earning a profit of more than Rs 500 crore from the Indian region,” the ED said.

A portion of these funds, as per the agency, were “layered” through a web of complex transactions with the help of shell entities and remitted abroad to its related entities in the garb of bogus freight services, import of services, etc.

The agency had claimed that a network of chartered accountants and professionals, who gave fake certificates of remittances and facilitated bank accounts/companies for layering of such funds, was involved in running this platform.

The entire process of reflecting account numbers of dummy entities, managing the funds collected in these accounts and diversion of the same were being managed and operated by owners of OctaFx group entities based in Spain, Russia, Georgia and Dubai, the agency said.

It said OctaFx hired several Indian individuals working in Spain/Russia for operating the trading platform.

It has attached crypto currencies, bank deposits and gold coins worth Rs 35 crore in this case till now. PTI NES ZMN

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