Singaporean shell corporations connected to an Indian money-laundering scheme

A money laundering scheme involving fictitious invoices for software and other services produced by alleged shell companies in Singapore has been discovered by one of India’s law enforcement authorities. In a statement released on February 28, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), a division of the Ministry of Finance in India, stated that funds obtained from loan, gaming, and betting applications under the control of “Chinese entities” had been utilized by shell companies in India to compensate the Singaporean companies. According to the directorate, an ED probe found that money obtained from the apps’ sales is combined and laundered through mule accounts created in several Keralan banks with the help of payment aggregators.

 

The directorate claimed that the companies moved the money, which included cryptocurrency, using Nium India, a division of the international foreign exchange settlement platform Nium Singapore. It further stated that this was done in order to hide the funds from oversight organizations. 1.23 billion rupees (S$19.9 million), allegedly the proceeds of crime associated with Singapore shell companies and held in bank accounts of Nium India, have been frozen, according to the Enforcement Department. This came after searches of ten sites in the cities of Kochi, Chennai, and Mumbai on February 23 and 24, during which the authorities found a number of mule accounts in Kerala that were purportedly used to accept the proceeds of illicit activity.

 

In addition to businesses like Xoduz Solution, Vikrah Trading Enterprises, Tyrannus Technology, and Future Vision Media Solutions, ED officers conducted raids on the Mumbai offices of Nium India and its directors. The probe was started after victims who claimed to have been taken advantage of or defrauded by the online platforms filed reports with the police in the states of Kerala and Haryana. Following the raids, numerous digital devices, a variety of papers, and numerous bank accounts used for money laundering were found and taken into custody. A Nium representative told The Straits Times that the company takes compliance and money laundering prevention very seriously. It declared that it was completely assisting the ED in resolving the issues raised in the complaint and clearing up any ambiguities.

 

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