The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday seized crores of rupees during a search operation that covered six premises in Kolkata. The raids concern an investigation related to a mobile gaming app, designed for defrauding its users.
The new recovery has provided one more opportunity to the ruling Trinamool’s opponents for pointing fingers, and blaming the ruling party for rampant corruption. The mobile gaming application, E-Nuggets, was launched by a person named Amir Khan. It initially rewarded the users with commission, and it was possible to withdraw the wallet-balance.
As the confidence of the users grew stronger, investments became bigger. After strong collections from the users, withdrawal from the app was stopped under different pretexts. After this, data and profile information was deleted from the app servers. The case under consideration was recorded based on a first information report (FIR) filed by a police station under Kolkata Police in February last year.
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The FIR was filed against Aamir Khan and others, and was based on a complaint filed by Federal Bank authorities in the court of Ld. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Calcutta. During the operation, it was discovered that dummy accounts had been used. The amount found initially was Rs 7 crore, before the agency revised to Rs 17 crores later in the day according to a PTI report, and could go higher, after a final assessment is made.
Leaders in the Opposition camp, representing the BJP in Bengal, blamed the Trinamool Congress for the prevalence of corruption in the state. Senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said the TMC has nothing to do with the businessman concerned but alleged that the Centre wanted to drive away investors from the state by spreading the fear of “harassment” by federal agencies. The BJP rejected the charge, saying the raids were only against unscrupulous businessmen, and asked the TMC leader if he had anything to hide.
Hakim wondered if the ED’s investigations into money laundering cases are restricted to states ruled by non-BJP parties like West Bengal. “If Rs 7 crores has been unearthed, the source of that money should certainly be investigated. But what about Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi who had swindled more than Rs 7,000 crore? Why did their wrongdoing not come to light before they left (India)?
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