October 29, 2022

The case involves the alleged extortion of high interest rates against micro personal loans given via mobile apps

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized over ₹51.22 crore lying in the bank and virtual accounts of PC Financial Services Private Limited (PCFS), taking the total seizure so far to ₹288 crore in a case involving the alleged extortion of high interest rates against micro personal loans given via mobile apps.

The agency, which has taken the latest action under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), is already probing several Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) and fintech firms under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. They allegedly provided personal loans through mobile apps and threatened customers with high interest rates.

During the investigation, the ED also initiated an inquiry against PCFS under FEMA. It found that the company was a wholly owned subsidiary of Oplay Digital Services, SA de CV, Mexico, which was a wholly owned subsidiary of TenspotPesa Limited (Hong Kong), owned by Opera Limited (Cayman Islands) and Wisdom Connection I Holding Inc (Cayman Islands). The Cayman Islands-based entities were beneficially owned by a Chinese national, Zhou Yahui, as alleged.

The original company, PCFS, was set up in 1995 by Indian nationals. It received an NBFC licence in 2002 and following the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) approval in 2018, its ownership moved to the “Chinese-controlled” company.

The agency alleged that the foreign…

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