ED searches Binance firm, bitcoins of Rs 22.82 crore seized


The Enforcement Directorate raided Cryptocurrency exchange firm Binance on 11 November, Friday. As a part of an ongoing mobile gaming app E-nuggets-related probe, the ED has searched wallets or user IDs linked with the Binance crypto exchange.


As per the official release, the federal investigation agency seize around 150.22 Bitcoins worth Rs 22.82 crore during the search operation and the measures were taken under the provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), it added.


Based on an FIR that was filed in Kolkata in February 2021, E-nuggets and its promoters have been registered in a money laundering case by the ED.


Amir Khan, son of businessman Nesar Ahmed Khan launched the mobile gaming app E-nuggests that defrauded the public. Many agencies claimed that the reason behind the creation of such an app was to mainly acquire the money of others in a simple way. 


At first, the app was working fine as it rewarded users and allowed them to withdraw their balance hassle-free. But soon after people noticed a sudden break. 


“After collecting a sizeable amount from the public, all of the sudden, the withdrawal from the said app, was stopped, on one pretext or the other,” the ED said.


“Thereafter, all data including profile information was wiped off from the said app servers,” the agency added, noting that it was then that the users understood the ploy.


“It was revealed during the investigation that multiple accounts (more than 300) were used to launder the money. Proceeds were also used to purchase cryptocurrencies,” the ED further said.

ED raids the Binance firm over a fraud case
ED raids the Binance firm over a fraud case

The case came to light when many people started being the target of such apps that claims to provide an ample amount of people but halts suddenly. 


During the month of September, the agency found and took away Rs. 17.32 crore in cash from the residential premises of Aamir Khan. It also froze 85.91 Bitcoins equivalent to around Rs 13.56 crore in the Binance crypto exchange.  


The ED also found and froze the Khan and his accomplice’s bank account of around Rs 5.47 crore.


According to the ED, a stake of Rs 68.42 crore in total has been seized and frozen in the inquiry operated in the E-nuggets case so far.


In October, Romen Agarwal was arrested for alleged involvement of illicit wealth in domestic and international transactions and froze Rs 1.65 crore from his residence by the investigators. According to the agency, they froze Rs 7.12 crore worth of Bitcoins. He has been charged and is in judicial custody.