Which banks and digital wallets are used in 1XBetting?
KATHMANDU: It has been found that payment platforms have neglected the business of the illegal betting company ‘1XBet’, which is expanding its network to include Nepali youth and children even though this is known to be illegal.
Khalti, IME Pay, Connect IPS, and NIC Asia Bank are found to act as if they have not seen the illegal trading of money happening on their platforms. According to the facts and information received by Nepal Press, more than 95 percent of OneX Bet transactions are being done through Khalti digital wallet.
“Many business accounts are found in the accounts of agents who come to process payments on 1XBet,” the source said. Similarly, it has been found that the money given to the content creators of YouTube is also paid through the agents of OneX Bet.
“I am being paid $200 per video,” the source said, quoting a content creator. “And the money is being paid through various agents in the same account.”
However, when NIC Asia Bank and Khalti were repeatedly informed about this, no one paid attention and pretended not to notice, the source said. Raju Poudel, Head of Media and Public Relations at IME Pay, said no information was received on the illegal activity taking place through his platform.
“This had not come to our notice then. However, I may be the only one who does not know,” Poudel told Nepal Press. “We will take action as soon as we find out. We are all outside Kathmandu currently. This will be the first thing we do when we return to Kathmandu.”
He said that IME Pay would not encourage such activities. “We will not allow our platform to be used for any such illegal activities,” he told Nepal Press.
However, the most used platform Khalti has been monitored and a letter has been sent to the Nepal Rastra Bank for action, according to Head of Finance Arun Shah.
“We suspect that 1X Bet is using our platform in this way. We have stepped up surveillance on some of the accounts,” Shah told the Nepal Press. “They are only secretly transacting money from personal accounts.”
Even though Sah claimed that transactions are being done only from personal accounts, according to the information provided by a source, more transactions are being carried out from business accounts than from personal accounts.
“Pocket accounts of various mobile shops, bookstores, EDV filling stations in places like Kathmandu, Birgunj, Pyuthan and Tansen are found to be the ones used most for 1X Bet,” the source said. ”It is not only in Kathmandu that this betting network exists, it has already spread across the country.”
When asked about the situation where a lot of transactions are taking place from business accounts, Shah said that work is being done to suspend such accounts. The monitoring of suspicious accounts has been increased by looking at the transaction activities, according to him. According to Roshan Lamichhane, Chief Operating Officer, e-Sewa is monitoring the accounts with suspicious transactions and blocking the accounts with ‘Zero Tolerance’. He stated that as soon as he got the information that e-Sewa was being used for illegal betting, he asked 1XBet to stop such activities and informed the CIB. He said, “Since then, we have been blocking the accounts involved in such activities and holding money. We are also consulting with the regulatory body about this.”
Recently, the much-talked-about fund transfer platform ‘Connect IPS’ is also being used. However, Niti Joshi, marketing head of Connect IPS, says she has no information regarding this.
This way, as the service provider is unaware, the flow of millions of rupees abroad has increased day by day, an expert in this field informed Nepal Press. “Service providers have full information about who is transferring money from their service and for what purpose. You have to know what is happening. Not being able to keep track of this information and being ignorant is their weakness.”
Roshan Neupane, the Chief Executive Officer of NIC Asia Bank did not want to be contacted for repeated comments on the phone or through SMS. This is not to say that NIC Asia Bank, which has remained silent about the illegal activities taking place using its bank account, is unaware of this. Sources said that they got information about this through their Facebook and WhatsApp, but took no action. “There was no follow-up even when I texted them, including a screenshot, through Facebook and WhatsApp that NIC Asia Bank was being used this way,” the source said.
Similarly, a source close to 1XBet stated that the agent has nothing to fear from banks and payment platforms. “1XBet has been trading in Nepal since 2018. From the middle of 2019, digital wallets like e-Sewa and Khalti started come in use,” said the source. “However, not much is known about it. Payment platforms take action against themselves only if they have personal animosity.”
Hence, the fact that digital wallets and banks which are under the direct supervision of Nepal Rastra Bank, now feign ignorance of the illegal activities taking place on their platform, clearly shows that they have tacitly supported 1XBet.