In a major development, five more persons were arrested and police busted an office near Kolkata while probing into the e-nuggets online gaming app that allegedly duped a large number of people of several crores of rupees.
Police officials believe the kingpin could be hiding outside the country.
The Kolkata police on Wednesday carried out raids and seized multiple SIM boxes, more than 2000 SIM cards, around 3,000 ATM cum debit cards and laptops from an office in Bidhannagar.
“Five persons have been arrested in connection with the case. Earlier on September 23, one person was arrested from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. Another person, who is believed to be the mastermind is still absconding and is suspected to be in outside India from where he was operating the online gaming app,” said a senior officer.
The development comes weeks after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raided the premises of the person arrested from Ghaziabad in Kolkata and seized ₹17.32 crore cash from there on September 10.
Crypto currency worth ₹12.83 crore was frozen on Wednesday by the ED as part of its money laundering probe into the case.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Kolkata Police in a parallel probe into the case froze bitcoins worth ₹14.53 crore.
ED launched a probe under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on a first information report (FIR) registered in February 2021.
The FIR was on the basis of a complaint filed by a private bank.
Later, Kolkata police started a probe after the federal agency recovered a huge amount of cash from the arrested person’s house.
The app was designed with an aim to “defraud” people.
During the initial period, the users were rewarded with commission and the balance in the wallet could be withdrawn hassle-free.
This paved the way for initial confidence among users, and they started investing bigger amounts for a greater percentage of commission and a greater number of purchase orders.
After collecting a sizable amount of money from the public, all of a sudden withdrawal from the app was stopped on one pretext or the other.
Thereafter, all data including profile information was wiped off from the said app servers.