The Enforcement Directorate (ED) said on Saturday that it has carried out search operations at six different locations in Bengaluru in connection with its probe into the Chinese loan apps fraud case.

According to sources, the financial probe agency raided the premises associated with PayTM, Razorpay and Cashfree, all payment gateways which allegedly facilitated transactions on loan apps unauthorisedly run by Chinese-owned firms.

"During the search operation, it was noticed that the said entities were generating proceeds of crime through various merchant IDs/accounts held with payment gateways/banks. They were also not operating from the addresses given on the MCA website/registered address. An amount of Rs 17 crore has been seized in merchant IDs and bank accounts of these Chinese-owned entities," said an ED official.

The official added that it has come to the ED's notice that the said entities were doing business through various merchant IDs/accounts held with payment gateways/banks.

Meanwhile, a Razorpay spokesperson said, "Some of our merchants were being investigated by the law enforcement about a year-and-a-half back. As part of the ongoing investigation, the authorities requested additional information to help with the investigation. We have fully cooperated and shared KYC and other details. The authorities were satisfied by our due diligence process."

The case is based on 18 FIRs registered by the cyber crime police station in Bengaluru against numerous persons in connection with their involvement in extortion and harassment of the public who had availed small amount of loans through the mobile apps being run by those entities.

"During the probe, it emerged that these entities were operated by Chinese persons. The modus operandi of these entities was using forged documents of Indians and making them dummy directors of those entities," an ED official said.

The search operation is still in progress, sources said.