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14 Apr 2022

The ED officials had recently 
announced the arrest of two Kolkata residents under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on a FIR filed in Goa. The accused were allegedly operating unions on the “PP Poker Online Gaming App” and placing illegal bets and gambling on the same.

Subsequently, the accused were produced before Mapusa court in Goa, on April 08 and which remanded them to eight days of ED custody.
An investigation by ED revealed that the accused Hardeep Singh and Rahul Khanna, are operating 2-3 Unions namely, Checkraise, Mini-India, Russian Poker etc on PP Poker Online Gaming App.

Under each union, it is seen that around 25 to 30 clubs are being operated by different individuals. Through these clubs, individual players are invited vide WhatsApp chats for placing illegal bets through various poker gaming apps like PP Poker.

According to a report on Free Press Journal, some of the people from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Goa who acted as club managers or agents and were allegedly part of operating unions on “PP Poker Online Gaming App” and placing illegal bets and gambling on the same, are under the scanner of the ED, which is probing a money-laundering probe in connection with the said illegal gambling case.

The FIR is registered by Goa Police under various Sections of Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 4 of Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976 and Section 66-D of Information Technology Act, 2000 for illegal gaming activities and siphoning huge money through secret networks and thus causing loss to the government exchequer.

This investigation by anti-money laundering watch dog comes at a time when reports surfaced that online skill gaming, which attracts millions of customers and involves large sums of money, is likely to be brought within the purview of the PMLA in an attempt to thwart money laundering (ML) and terror financing (TL) via such activities. 

Last week, Jayesh Rangan, the Principal Secretary of IT, Telanagana Government urged the gaming companies to adopt robust KYC mechanisms.

 

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