ED freezes Rs 91 crore in a crypto money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has frozen around Rs 91.6 crore of various companies allegedly linked to a cryptocurrency money laundering case, a report said on April 25.

The entities, against whom the agency acted, were involved in “HPZ Token fraud”, the Times of India said. The funds frozen by the agency, which investigates money laundering and other economic offences, was parked with banks and payment gateways.

The names and other details of the companies the banks and payment getaways were not disclosed in the report. ED sources, however, told the newspaper that the banks and payment firms were not accused in the case.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the development.

In February, the ED had frozen Rs 29.5 crore worth of funds of various companies allegedly linked to the case.

The report of the latest crackdown comes a day after the ED said it conducted searches against one Bhupesh Arora in connection with the HPZ Token fraud case.

“…(search conducted) in respect of the accounts held by the entities controlled by Bhupesh Arora and his associates in connection with an investigation relating to the misuse of app-based token named “HPZ” and other similar applications by several entities,” the agency said.

Arora, according to the ToI report, allegedly controlled gaming app firms through which the money was collected from investors in the HPZ Token case.

HPZ Token, an app-based token, promised investors high returns in exchange of investments made in “machines” used for mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The ED action was initiated after an FIR was filed in Nagaland’s Kohima.