Caught on cam: Paytm CEO’s bizarre reaction when asked about RBI ban

| Updated: 07 February, 2024 12:55 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma came under limelight after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed restrictions on the Paytm Payments Bank, prohibiting the entity from providing additional banking services starting March 2024.

Despite this grim situation of his company, Sharma still looked very flamboyant when spotted by The New Indian’s Executive Editor Rohan Dua at the Indira Gandhi International Airport returning from Mumbai to Delhi via Indigo flight. When pressed by Dua for answers to accusations of Chinese investments, leakage of personal data, and money laundering, the CEO scooted away in his lavish Rs 1.6 crore Jaguar EV vehicle.

The businessman evaded such serious questions by smiling broadly at Dua. Despite persistent efforts to get his version of things, he remained steadfast to keep his mouth shut, adding another layer of suspicion in the company’s alleged fraudulent activities.

Sources have told TNI that Sharma had gone to Mumbai to meet RBI officials to migrate & transfer Paytm Wallet assets.

About the ban:

RBI has recently implemented restrictions on Paytm Payments Bank due to concerns related to the breach of regulatory norms and compliance issues.

This means that after February 29, 2024, Paytm Payments Bank will be prohibited from accepting deposits or engaging in credit transactions, top-ups in customer accounts, as well as handling prepaid instruments, wallets, FASTags, and NCMC (National Common Mobility Cards), among other services.

Reasons behind the ban:

RBI suspects Sharma transfers money deposited by several Permanent Account Number (PAN) to countries outside which is funnelled back into India through investments. According to RBI sources, more than 1,000 users have been found to have linked the same PAN to their accounts.

The central bank is also worried that his company may have been doing money laundering. According to sources in the RBI, Sharma hoodwinked the bank on reducing 10.3 per cent stake held by Alibaba’s subsidiary called Antfin in Paytm. He insisted that the shares held through Antfin were transferred to Netherlands based company Resilient Asset Management in August but RBI is trying to dig out more the connection between Paytm and China based company.

RBI has informed the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on suspicions on Vijay Shekhar Sharma and his company.

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