The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized a crypto wallet containing 77.62710139 bitcoins that are worth about Rs. 12.83 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Wednesday. The bitcoins are owned by Amir Khan, prime accused in the fraud mobile gaming app E-Nuggets case, although the cryptocurrency wallet used was of a local businessman.
Hours earlier, the Kolkata Police had seized Rs. 14.53 crore from a cryptocurrency wallet belonging to Amir Khan. Meanwhile, on September 10, the ED had seized about Rs. 17.32 crore in cash from the residence belonging to Amir Khan’s father in Garden Reach area of Kolkata. This recent bust of the cryptocurrency wallet now adds up to a total of Rs. 44.68 crore in the E-Nuggets gaming app fraud case.
“ED has freezed crypto currencies, 77.62710139 Bitcoins worth Rs 12.83 Cr. approx. under PMLA, 2002, in respect to an investigation conducted against one Aamir Khan & others relating to the Mobile Gaming App., namely E-nuggets. Earlier, ED had seized Rs. 17.32 Cr cash in the case,” the ED stated in a Tweet.
Police also found out where the fraud was carried out and seized multiple devices with remote access. Amir Khan and four others involved were arrested by Kolkata Police from Ghaziabad on September 24 and will be produced in a lower court on October 8. As per the ED investigations, the accused were transferring some part of the amounts overseas in an illegal manner through cryptocurrency exchanges.
The app was controlled from outside India via a remote access computer, the Kolkata police said after interrogating one of the accused. Police also seized about 2000 SIM cards, laptops and around 3000 ATM-cum-debit cards from their office in Bindnagar.
The E-Nuggets gaming app allowed users to play games, invest a certain sum of money and earn commissions which they could stack up and withdraw to their bank account. With time people gained confidence in the app payouts and started investing large amounts of money. After collecting sizeable investments from several users, all of the withdrawal transactions were stopped and the data on the app server was wiped out entirely along with user profiles.