ED conducts raids at several locations in Maharashtra in Rs 100 crore ponzi scam

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED), Mumbai, conducted search operations at several locations in Pune, Nashik, and Kolhapur on Thursday in connection with the Ponzi schemes and illegal forex trading platforms operated by businessman Vinod Tukaram Khute, his family members, and associates from Dubai, according to a press release from ED.

The ED, during the search operation, seized cash, bank funds, fixed deposits, and jewellery to the tune of Rs 5 crore and froze them along with various incriminating documents and digital devices.
As per a release by the ED, it initiated an investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by Bharti Vidhyapeeth Station, Pune, against Vinod Khute, Santosh Khute, Mangesh Khute, Kiran Pitamber Anarase, Ajinkya Badadhe, and others for duping and cheating common people in the name of Ponzi or multi-marketing schemes and forex trading platforms that promised exorbitant returns and collected more than Rs 100 crore.
The ED investigation, it added, revealed that Vinod Khute, who is absconding and suspected to be presently residing in Dubai, is the mastermind of various illicit multi-level marketing and Ponzi schemes, illegal trading, crypto exchange, and wallet services through the VIPS Group of companies, Global Affiliate Business, Kana Capital, Real Gold Capital and Phoenix FX.
“The search operations unveiled a network of distributors enticing and luring the common public into investing in bogus, illicit schemes, illegal trading, and the activities of Vinod Khute. Funds are being collected through various bogus and shell entities that were layered into a complex web of transactions, ultimately resulting in the withdrawal of proceeds into cash and then siphoning off to Dubai by conversion to crypto and virtual assets or through Hawala channels,” the ED added.
Earlier, in this case, ED conducted search operations and issued 3 provisional attachment orders, resulting in the attachment of various bank balances, immovable properties of Vinod Khute and his relatives in India and Dubai amounting to Rs 70.86 crore.
Further investigation is under progress, the ED added.-ANI

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