The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized assets valued at ₹59.44 crore related to the Power Bank app fraud case, which allegedly involves Chinese nationals.
The assets are owned by Vaibhav Dipak Shah, Sagar Diamonds Private Limited, RHC Global Exports Private Limited, and their associates. This action was taken under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The ED started to investigate the case based on various cases registered by police in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Karnataka. These cases were registered under different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology (IT) Act.
As per the agency, it came across several “Chinese nationals as part of a larger conspiracy” to defraud the Indian public and set up numerous shell companies in India.
They accomplished this with the assistance of Chartered Accountants, Company Secretaries, and other Indian professionals. There are umpteen software applications like Tesla Power Bank, Power Bank, EZ Plan, etc., which were used to make people’s online investments ensuring huge returns.
In this case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had previously conducted searches and reviewed a large number of documents. They found that substantial funds were diverted and sent abroad under the guise of making payments for imports.
During the investigation, the agency seized cash and valuables worth ₹10.34 crore and froze bank accounts with a total amount of ₹14.81 crore. They also issued a provisional attachment order on February 6, 2022, seizing an additional ₹4.92 crore. In this case, three individuals were arrested, and a prosecution complaint was filed against the accused on April 25, 2023.
One of the arrested accused is Anas Ahmed, who was found with H & S Ventures Inc. and Clifford Ventures reportedly scammed people out of approximately ₹84 crore.
Ahmed and his team allegedly made false promises to investors with daily or weekly interest payments through apps like ‘Power Bank’. However, after amassing a large amount of money, they shut down these platforms.
The Bangalore police arrested 11 people in June 2021 including four people from China and Tibet respectively. The boss of the case was found as Ahmed. His wife, Hu Xiaolin, who is from China, was also arrested. However, she was later let out on bail. This arrest was part of a case that was filed against 13 companies.
In the same month, the Cyber Cell of the Delhi Police arrested 11 people including two Chartered Accountants. They were accused of scamming over 5 lakh people out of more than ₹150 crore through the ‘Power Bank’ and ‘EZ Plan’ apps. The accused individuals had set up around 110 fake companies to move the money around.
In June 2021, the Chennai Police filed a case after receiving multiple complaints. These complaints claimed that investors were swindled through the ‘Power Bank’ and ‘Tesla Power Bank’ apps.