raid ed kolkata: ED recoups Rs 17 crore cash after raids on Kolkata-based gaming app operator

The Law Enforcement Branch on Saturday seized about Rs 17 crore in cash after raiding the promoters of a Kolkata-based mobile gaming app company in a money laundering probe .

A photograph released by the federal agency showed wads of seized Rs 500 banknotes as well as a few Rs 2,000 and Rs 200 notes stacked on a bed.

The agency activated five note-counting machines and brought in bank staff to determine the exact value of the cash.

The searches were conducted at half a dozen locations of the gaming app named “E-Nuggets” and its promoter identified as Aamir Khan and others, the app’s management said in a statement.

CRPF staff escorted teams from the emergency to places like Garden Reach, Park Street and Mominpur in and around the capital of West Bengal, among others.

So far, around Rs 17 crore in cash has been found at the scene and the count is still ongoing, official sources said.

Some of the gambling app operator’s political ties are under scrutiny, agency sources said.

The raids sparked a new war of words between West Bengal’s ruling TMC and the BJP.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) Chief Minister and Mayor of Kolkata, Firhad Hakim, said the TMC had nothing to do with the concerned businessman, but alleged that the Center wanted to drive investors out of the state by spreading fear of “harassment” by federal agencies.

The BJP dismissed the accusation, saying the raids only targeted unscrupulous businessmen, and asked the TMC chief if he had something to hide.

Hakim questioned whether ED investigations into money laundering cases are limited to states run by non-BJP parties like West Bengal. “If Rs 7 crore was unearthed, the source of that money should definitely be investigated. But what about Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi who had swindled more than Rs 7,000 crore? Why didn’t their wrongdoing it not been revealed before their departure (India)?

“There are businessmen in BJP-ruled states and they might have amassed large sums of money as well,” he said.

“Does this mean that the raids will be selectively directed against businessmen from non-BJP ruled states like Bengal? This is to deter investors from coming to Bengal for fear of harassment by central agencies,” the senior TMC official said.

Reacting to Hakim’s comments, BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya claimed that such statements come out of fear as people are aware of the unholy connection between money launderers and the TMC.

“The ED raid is not directed against business in general. It is only against unscrupulous businessmen. Does the former transport minister have something to hide?” Bhattacharya added.

The money laundering case stems from an FIR filed by Kolkata police against the company and its promoters in February 2021.

This FIR was registered at Park Street Police Station based on a complaint filed by Federal Bank authorities in a court in Kolkata, the ED said.

Aamir Khan, son of businessman Nesar Ahmed Khan, launched the E-Nuggets mobile game app designed to defraud the public, according to the agency.

“During the initial period, users were rewarded with a commission and the wallet balance could be withdrawn without hassle.

“It gave users confidence, and they started investing bigger sums for a higher commission percentage and more purchase orders,” he said.

The ED said that after collecting a “beautiful sum” from the public, the removal of said app was suddenly stopped under one pretext or another – such as system upgrade and investigation by security forces. order.

Later, all data including profile information was erased from the application servers. That’s when users caught on to the ploy, ED said.

Official sources said the agency was investigating whether this app and its operators had ties to other “Chinese-controlled” apps that had provided loans at exorbitant rates to gullible people. In many cases, loan takers ended their lives after being threatened by these loan operators to repay.

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