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ED questions 2 TV actors over payments made to them for promoting app | Mumbai News

ED questions 2 TV actors over payments made to them for promoting app | Mumbai News

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday recorded statements of television actors Krystle D’Souza and Karan Wahi as part of an investigation into a money laundering case. The agency was investigating this case in connection with another case involving illegal online forex trading through international brokers, namely the OctaFx trading app and website octafx.com.

The two actors reached the ED office in Ballard Estate on Wednesday morning and were allowed to leave after their investigation was completed. They were questioned and their statement was recorded to extract details of payments made to them for promoting the OctaFX app. They can be called again if required, an ED source said.

Besides D’Souza and Wahi, actress Nia Sharma was also summoned again for failing to appear at the agency to record her statement.

The Public Prosecution Service could call the actors as witnesses in the case, but has not yet made a decision on this, as the investigation is still ongoing.

Earlier in April, the central agency had conducted searches at various locations in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi. During the searches, the ED had frozen Rs 2.7 crore lying in bank accounts and seized several incriminating documents and digital devices.

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The ED’s money laundering probe into the scam is based on an FIR registered with the Shivaji Nagar police station in Pune. The FIR was filed against several persons for their alleged involvement in luring people with high returns and cheating them on the pretext of forex trading through the OctaFx trading platform.

The OctaFx online trading app and website are operated in the country in partnership with the India-based entity M/s OctaFx India Private Limited.

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According to the ED, the app and the website are not authorized by the Reserve Bank of India to deal in forex trading. The trading platform is widely promoted on social networking sites and follows referral-based incentive models to attract users to its platforms.

The ED said that during investigations, it was revealed that multiple accounts of various Indian banks were shown to investors/users on the app and website to collect funds under the guise of facilitating forex trading. The app and website manipulated trading activities and information displayed on the platform, which ultimately resulted in net losses to traders. The funds collected after defrauding these investors/users were transferred to multiple e-wallet accounts or bank accounts of dummy entities, an ED statement said.

Through these transactions, M/s OctaFx lndia Pvt Ltd, M/s OctaFx and their entities duped investors in the guise of forex trading, thereby earning profits of over Rs 500 crore in the Indian region, the ED said. A part of these funds were allegedly layered through a web of complex transactions using shell entities and transferred abroad to their related entities in the guise of bogus freight services, import of services, etc.

The anti-money laundering agency has so far seized Rs 35 crore worth of assets in the form of cryptocurrencies, bank balances, gold coins, etc.
It was also revealed that the entire process – of displaying account numbers of dummy entities, managing the funds collected in these accounts and diverting them – was managed and executed by the owner of OctaFx group entities in Spain, Russia, Georgia and Dubai, the ED said.

M/s OctaFx has also hired several Indian individuals working in Spain and Russia to operate the OctaFx trading platform and induce Indian citizens to invest in forex trading through OctaFx, the ED said.

First uploaded on: 03-07-2024 at 22:49 IST