ED freezes ₹2.7cr in probe related to illegal forex trading | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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ED freezes 2.7cr in probe related to illegal forex trading

Apr 21, 2024 07:18 AM IST

ED seized ₹2.7 crore in bank funds during searches in 4 cities related to alleged forex trading fraud by OctaFX. Assets worth ₹35 crore attached.

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized bank funds worth 2.7 crore during its searches carried out in the country’s four metro cities, including Mumbai, as part of its money-laundering probe related to an alleged fraud case against the conduct of illegal online forex trading via two international brokers, OctaFX trading app and a website.

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ED is investigating a case filed by Pune’s Shivaji Nagar police station against multiple individuals accused of duping victims into forex trading through the OctaFx platform. It’s alleged that OctaFX India Pvt Ltd and OctaFX cheated investors out of over 500 crore through illegal forex trading, part of which was transferred abroad through complex transactions disguised as bogus freight services and other means. During searches in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Delhi, ED froze bank funds suspected of being linked to the crime and seized incriminating documents and digital devices. Assets worth 35 crore, including cryptocurrencies, bank balances, and gold coins, have been provisionally attached.

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ED’s investigation found that the OctaFx online trading app and website operate in India through OctaFx India Private Limited, allegedly without authorization from the Reserve Bank of India. The platform, OCTAFX, uses referral-based incentives on social media to attract users.

Multiple accounts from different Indian banks were allegedly presented to investors/users on the OctaFx platform, soliciting funds for forex trading. OctaFx purportedly manipulated trade activities and information, resulting in losses for traders. Funds collected from deceived investors/users were allegedly transferred to e-wallet accounts or shell firm bank accounts, agency sources said.

ED has taken under its scanner a network of chartered accountants and professionals who allegedly provided fake certificates of remittances and facilitated bank accounts/firms for parking funds. The probe also disclosed that the entire process of reflecting account numbers of shell firms, managing the funds collected in these accounts, and diversion of the same are allegedly controlled by the owner of the OctaFX group entities based in Spain, Russia, Georgia, and Dubai. OctaFX also allegedly hired Indians based in Spain and Russia to operate the OctaFX trading platform and entice Indian citizens to invest in forex trading through OctaFX, agency sources said.

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