The Indian authorities this week cracked a remote gaming money laundering ring involving iGaming companies registered in Malta, India’s Enforcement Directorate has reported without divulging the names of the companies involved.
The bust came in relation to investigations being carried out across the country against foreign-registered online gaming companies and websites operating in India.
The Enforcement Directorate reports the companies in question are registered in Malta, Cyprus and Curacao and are linked to Indian bank accounts opened in the name of proxy persons who have no links with online gaming activity.
Funds collected through gaming websites are then routed through multiple bank accounts until they are finally remitted out of India by mis-declaring the purpose of remittances as being against the importation of services or goods.
The Enforcement Directorate did not say where the funds were being remitted to but Malta as a destination of at least some of the funds is not being excluded given that some of the unnamed companies involved are registered on the islands.
Remittances of income derived from betting on races or any other hobby are not allowed under the provisions of India’s Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999.
India’s Enforcement Directorate reports that hundreds of companies were opened by the operation’s key players in the name of employees.
The companies were allegedly used for layering and sending remittances of around Rs. 4000 Crore [approximately €450,000] supposedly for payments for goods and services that were to be imported.
The operation was complex, with the Indian authorities confiscating income tax and identity cards for creating the firms and mobile phones for managing the bank accounts.
Suspects were found using international virtual mobile numbers for instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal. They were also using remote-based servers and laptops being used through remote access apps like AnyDesk and TeamViewer.
The seizures during the searches include incriminating documents and electronic devices showing foreign outward remittances collected through gaming websites using the accounts of dummy firms opened in the name of proxies who are not linked to gaming activities.
55 bank accounts of firms being used for layering and remitting income generated from online gaming have also been frozen. Further investigations are underway.
The raids were carried out at 25 premises in Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
I always reckoned the “I-gaming” is simply a posh cover for money laundering and tax evasion. Seems like I wasn’t far off the mark.
Not at all.
But Malta substantially earns on gambling companies, taking advantage of masses across the world.
This is funny, given that Malta is allegedly a very ‘catholic’ country…so much from Jesus and St Peter…
İMMA KİF PAJJİZNA MALTA DEJJEM TİSSEMA F DAN İT TAHWİD HASİL TAL FLUS.
SEWWA JGHİDU MAFJA STATE
I wonder if the companies registered in Malta are members of the SIGMA Foundation which the companies use as charity to build schools and entertainment places for young children in Africa to introduce them to the gaming world and exploit the demographics of these countries.
Every day with something new to push our country into a mess .All those who support the corrupt are corrupt our ex PM Joseph had said this is one thing I fully agree on.
Every day a story keeps unfolding to expose corrupt practices we have in Mafialand.
Cannot expect any better after having an xpm Honoured (sic) with the title of the most corrupt pm Malta ever had, and who had his consultant t now as the present pm.
Can you imagine, the consultant of the most corrupt pm Malta ever had, now the prime minister – ONLY IN MAFIALAND