Seen here is one of the accused Pochnli Tengli alias ‘Alice’,(HT Photo)
Seen here is one of the accused Pochnli Tengli alias ‘Alice’,(HT Photo)

2 Chinese nationals arrested in Uttar Pradesh for alleged money laundering

The two accused were arrested from their hideout in Gautam Buddh Nagar. They were staying in India illegally for four-five months, said police.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 25, 2021 09:19 AM IST

Two Chinese nationals, including a woman, were arrested by the UP Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Gautam Buddh Nagar for their alleged involvement in illegal money transactions after opening online accounts in banks using fraudulently activated SIM cards, said UP ADG, law and order, Prashant Kumar, on Sunday.

The involvement of the two Chinese nationals surfaced after the arrest of 14 people from different parts of the state involved in providing them SIM cards on January 17, he said.

The ADG did not rule out the possibility of money laundering/terror funding behind the racket and stated that the ATS was probing the motive behind illegal money transactions.

He said the two Chinese nationals, identified as Xu Xunfu alias ‘Julahi’ and Pochnli Tengli alias ‘Alice’, were arrested from their hideout in Gautam Buddh Nagar. They were staying in India illegally for four-five months. Julahi’s visa expired in August, 2020 and Alice’s visa duration ended in September, 2020.

The ADG said the two accused were involved in arranging fraudulently activated SIM cards for a Chinese couple who owns a hotel in Gurgaon, Haryana. The two arrested persons used to deliver these SIM cards to the Chinese manager of the Gurgaon hotel after arranging the same from different people.

The duo had revealed that they delivered over 1,800 fraudulently activated SIM cards to the hotel manager. Efforts were on to trace the Chinese couple and their hotel manager involved in the racket, he said.

The ADG said the Chinese couple, who was at large, was in regular touch with another person in China through an instant messaging application for illegal money transactions.

He said they all were members of an international racket involved in illegal money transactions.

The racketeers misused relaxations offered in banking services for the common man during the pandemic. In this period, people were allowed to open their online bank accounts through their mobile numbers, without having to visit the banks.

A senior ATS official explained that at least two SIM cards could be issued in a day on one person’s identity proof. Some SIM card retailers and distributors used to get two SIM cards activated when any person approached them for a SIM card without letting the person know about the second card.

He said these pre-activated SIM cards, which cost merely 20, were sold to other dealers at 260 and later the same SIM cards were used to open online bank accounts for illegal money transactions.

The online bank accounts also have the facility of mentioning one beneficiary other than the account holder. The beneficiary could withdraw money from the ATM machines by getting one-time passwords sent to their registered mobile numbers.

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