Kolkata app fraud: More associates of prime accused netted by cops

As the Kolkata Police intensifies its probe into mobile gaming app E-Nuggets in a fraud case, more associates of the prime accused are being arrested in connection.

Late Wednesday, the city police arrested Soma Naskar (28), who used to give her personal bank account on rent to Amir Khan, the prime accused, for depositing the proceeds of the app’s transactions.

A reserve of Rs 30 crore in the account has also been confiscated by Kolkata Police.

With this, the total seizure in the E-Nuggets scam has reached a whopping Rs 74.68 crore.

The first seizure amounting to Rs 17.32 crore in cash was recovered by Enforcement Directorate (ED) sleuths from the residence of Amir Khan’s father Naser at Shahi Astabal Lane in the city’s Garden Reach area on September 10.

In the second seizure, the police on Thursday confiscated Rs 14.53 crore from a cryptocurrency wallet of Amir Khan.

The same evening, the ED sleuths seized Bitcoin worth Rs 12.73 crore, which was deposited in the cryptocurrency wallet of a local businessman who had hired it to Khan against a commission.

Besides Naskar, four other close associates have also been arrested — Samit Mondal (37), Rahul Pal (37), Prasenjit Sarkar (32) and Pratik Bajpai (29).

Bajpai was the manager of Amir Khan’s office in Salt Lake from where he used to operate the E-Nuggets fraud trade.

A couple of high-end sophisticated server machines, 1,952 mobile SIM cards, several laptops and desktops were recovered from the office.

Amir Khan, who was arrested by the Kolkata Police from Ghaziabad on September 24, is currently under custody. He will be produced before a lower court on October 8.

The accused had launched the app which was designed for the purpose of defrauding the public.

During the initial period, the users were rewarded with commission, and balance in the wallet could be withdrawn in a hassle-free manner.

This provided confidence to the users, who started investing bigger amounts for a larger percentage of commission and a greater number of purchase orders.

After collecting handsome amounts from the public, all of a sudden withdrawal from the said app was stopped on one pretext or the other.

Thereafter, all data, including profile information, was wiped out from the app’s server.

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