The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said it arrested an Indian man with "Chinese links" who is alleged to have cheated depositors to the tune of Rs 84 crore through "fraud" mobile applications.
Anas Ahmed was lodged in judicial custody at the Puzhal central prison, Chennai, after he was arrested by the crime branch CID of the Chennai Police sometime back, it said.
The ED was granted six days custody of Ahmed by a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Bengaluru on Thursday for "enquiring into the fraud committed”, the federal probe agency said in a statement.
It said an anti-money laundering probe was launched into the "operations of accused entities that induced the public to invest a certain amount through fraudulent mobile apps like powerbank and others by assuring to remit interest on daily or weekly basis on the investment made”.
"The accused entities closed their purported business after collecting huge sum of money from gullible public and went incommunicado," the ED said.
The accused entities, it said, neither paid interest nor returned the principal amount and withheld the investment made by public which has resulted in the commission of cheating.
"Anas Ahmed is a partner in two accused firms like H & S Ventures Inc and Clifford Ventures."
"These two partnership firms are responsible for collection of approximately Rs 84 crore from public," it said.
Ahmed, the ED said, has "Chinese links and is suspected of being the mastermind of the whole racket”.
It said Ahmed "indulged into corrupt and illegal activities through his partnership firms by deviating from the declared line of business/activity of gaming and has collected money from public under the guise of investment schemes through fraudulent apps”.
The proceeds generated through criminal activities have been layered through a number of shell entities to remit out of India and also invest in crypto currencies, the agency alleged.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)