India

Kolkata: ED recovers Rs 17 crore in raid on businessman linked to gaming app

After a nine-hour search, Enforcement Directorate (ED) has recovered around Rs 17 crore during searches from the residence of a businessman in Kolkata in connection with investigation relating to the mobile gaming application which allegedly cheated investors of their money, officials said. The counting of cash is still on.

The agency is carrying out search operations under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

Eight counting machines have been “reportedly” brought to the businessman Naser Khan‘s house, who was associated with Transport business, and had allegedly launched the mobile gaming app. The agency has been carrying out search operations from Saturday morning at six premises in Kolkata.

ED sources said, huge amounts of cash were seized from the second floor of the house and several places in the residence of Naser Khan, son of Amir Khan, who runs a transport business in the city.

ED had registered a case in this regard against Aamir Khan and others based on a complaint by Federal Bank authorities on February 15, 2021. “The instant case was recorded on the basis of FIR bearing No. 30 of 2021 dated 15.02.2021 filed U/s 420, 406, 409, 468, 469, 471, 34 of IPC by Park Street Police Station, Kolkata Police, against Aamir Khan & others, based on complaint filed by Federal Bank authorities, in the court of Ld. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Calcutta,” ED said in a statement.

The accused were charged under IPC sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 469 (forgery), 471 (whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses electronic device as genuine) and 34 (acts by several persons in furtherance of common intention) by Park Street police station.

“One person namely Amir Khan launched a mobile gaming application namely E-Nuggets, which was designed for the purpose of defrauding public. During the initial period, the users were rewarded with commission and the balance in the wallet could be withdrawn hassle-free. This provided initial confidence among users, and they started investing bigger amounts for greater percentage of commission and a greater number of purchase orders, ED said in a statement.

“After collecting handsome amount from the public, all of a sudden, the withdrawal from the said App, was stopped, at one or the other pretext viz. system upgradation, investigation by LEAs etc. Thereafter, all data including profile information was wiped off from the said App servers and only then the users understood the ploy,” ED said.

During the search operation, it is noticed that the said entities were using dummy accounts, ED said.

Reacting sharply to the incident, Trinamool Congress senior minister Firhad Hakim said, “I have a feeling that they (the Centre) want to damage the state’s economy. If someone has done wrong, the law will take its own course. However, an environment of fear is being created for businessmen, so that they restrain from doing business in Bengal. Recently, the income tax department had also raided some premises, but found no money.”

Hakim’s comment drew ire of the opposition, who claimed money collected by fraud is believed to be the state’s economy. Meanwhile, veteran CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “The bigger the leader, the bigger the thief and that is the truth of Trinamool Congress.

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