The ED has launched a probe against a Chinese "controlled" mobile app that allegedly duped a number of youngsters in lieu of providing them part-time jobs, which included "liking" and uploading celebrity videos on social media platforms.
The federal agency said on Monday that it has raided at least 12 offices in Bengaluru that are linked to the app Keepsharer, which had been confiscated for Rs 5.85 crore.
According to the Department of Justice, some "gullible people" were cheated by some Chinese people through a mobile app namely Keepsharer, which promised them to give a part-time job and collected money from them.
The Chinese founded these firms and recruited several Indians as directors, translators (Mandarin to English, vice-versa), HR managers, and tele-callers, according to the ED.
"They obtained documents of Indians and opened bank accounts," said the accused Chinese people. WhatsApp and Telegram provided the app with an investment app, and the company had launched its advertising. This app was connected to an investment app, and for registration on the former, they collected money from the youth."
During a study, the accused collected funds from individuals in the name of investment through this app, whereas the youth were given the task of liking and uploading them on social media.
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"When the task was completed, they paid Rs 20 per video which was credited in the Keepsharer wallet. For some time, the money was credited, but the app was later removed from the play store. Thus, the public was chastised of their investment, and the remuneration to be paid grew into thousand rupees."
The money collected through this "scam" was then converted into cryptocurrency and transferred to China-based crypto exchanges, according to the agency.
"All transactions were under the supervision of Chinese people via phone and WhatsApp groups," said the group.
The money laundering prosecution relates to an FIR (south CEN police station in Bengaluru), which also linked a charge sheet where the cops had claimed that out of 92 accused, six were Chinese and Taiwanese citizens "who were controlling the entire scam."