According to a press release, the Enforcement Directorate has searched wallets or user IDs associated with the largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, as part of its ongoing investigation into the mobile gaming app E-nuggets.
Following a search operation on Binance, the ED has frozen 150.22 bitcoins, equivalent to 22.82 crores under the PMLA, 2002.
Just in: ED has carried out a search operation on Wallet/User ID in Binance Crypto Exchange leading to the freezing of 150.22 Bitcoins equivalent to Rs 22.82 Crore towards an investigation being conducted relating to the Mobile Gaming Application, namely E-nuggets. pic.twitter.com/tSYPqc4pno— Crypto India (@CryptooIndia) November 11, 2022
The Kolkata Police filed an FIR in February 2021 against one Aamir Khan and others based on the allegation made by Federal Bank officials.
According to the agency, Aamir Khan, the son of businessman Nesar Ahmed Khan, launched the mobile gaming application intended to defraud the public.
During the initial period, users were rewarded with a commission, and their wallet balance could be withdrawn without trouble. This instilled confidence in users, and they began investing larger sums in exchange for a higher percentage of commission and a greater number of purchase orders.
Following the collection of public funds, the App abruptly stopped allowing withdrawals under various pretexts. After that, all data, including profile data, was deleted from the App servers, as stated by the central probe agency in September.
ED launched a money laundering investigation into the company, and in September, the agency reported that it had frozen bitcoins worth $12.83 crore as part of an investigation.
“It was revealed during investigation that multiple accounts (more than 300) were used to launder the money. Proceeds were also used to purchase Crypto currencies” reads the press release.
It was discovered that a dummy account with the name Sima Naskar had been opened and used to purchase cryptocurrencies and other digital assets on the cryptocurrency exchange WazirX.
Previously, cash totalling Rs 1.65 crore and 44.5 Bitcoins (then valued at Rs 7.12 crore) were seized and frozen from Khan’s associate Romen Agarwal’s residence.
Agarwal, who is actively involved in inter/intra-country transactions related to the transfer of ill-gotten money within and outside the countries received from criminals is currently in Judicial Custody.