Forex Trading

ED raids multiple locations in forex fraud case; assets worth ₹5 cr seized | Mumbai news

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s Mumbai Zonal Unit conducted search operations at various locations across the state as part of its ongoing probe in a money-laundering case related to allegedly bogus Ponzi schemes – forex trading platforms – multilevel marketing schemes run by the entities of a Dubai-based businessman, Vinod Khute, and others, officials said.

Raids were carried out in Pune, Kolhapur and Nashik (Representative Photo)

Officials said that ED, during the raid, froze the bank funds and fixed deposits, seized cash and jewellery worth around Rs.5 crore, and recovered digital devices and documents from several locations in Pune, Kolhapur and Nashik. 

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The search operations were carried out against a group of accused firms, including VIPS Group of companies, Global Affiliate Business, Kana Capital, Real Gold Capital and Phoenix FX operated by Khute, his family members and his associates from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, agency officials said.

People familiar with the development said that the ED’s search operations revealed an alleged network of distributors entrapping victims into investing in bogus/illicit schemes/illegal trading firms run by Khute, wherein the funds were gathered by a string of dubious entities and then diverted to a complex web of transactions.

The collected funds were then taken out in the mode of cash withdrawals and siphoned off to Dubai via conversion to crypto/virtual assets or through hawala channels, said the people.

The ED’s inquiry into the scam is based on a case lodged by Pune’s Bharti Vidyapeeth police station against Khute over allegations related to cheating of common people in the name of Ponzi/multi-marketing schemes and forex trading platforms.

It was alleged that the victims were promised lucrative returns and the accused eventually collected more than Rs.100 crore in investments. Khute, who is absconding and suspected of staying in Dubai currently, is accused of orchestrating multiple illegal multi-level marketing and Ponzi schemes, trading, a crypto exchange and wallet services via entities like the VIPS Group of companies, Global Affiliate Business, Kana Capital, Real Gold Capital and Phoenix FX, according to ED officials.

The agency has so far provisionally attached assets worth Rs.70.86 crore in the form of bank balances and immovable properties held in Pune and Dubai by the accused.


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