The Enforcement Directorate is looking for Amir Khan, the 25-year-old businessman from whose house in Garden Reach in west Kolkata the central agency seized Rs 17.3 crore on Saturday.
The agency said Amir, who apparently was involved in running his father’s transport business, had developed a gaming application that was used to dupe people by siphoning off their money.
Amir’s father, Nesar Ahmed Khan, and brother were detained for questioning on Saturday night after the cash haul. They were released on Sunday morning.
Sources in the agency said they had told the sleuths that the seized money belonged to Amir, who officers said is missing.
“Once we get hold of Amir Khan, we will ask him to explain the source of his income and the money seized from his house. If he fails to give a satisfactory explanation, legal steps will be taken against him,” the officer said.
ED officers said the fraud was reported by a Park Street-headquartered bank in February 2021. “The bank had reported that they spotted suspicious transactions in around 150 accounts across the country, from where money was transferred to three beneficiary accounts located in Calcutta,” said an officer.
One of these accounts is in Rajarhat and other two are in Kolkata.
“The three beneficiary accounts belong to Khan and his associates. The bank had conducted an internal inquiry and reported the matter to the ED and the Kolkata police,” the officer said.
“It was found that the fraudsters were using a gaming app named e-Nuggets to dupe people by promising them high commission if they kept their money in the app. Many people had fallen into the trap and were duped. The money was transferred through multiple accounts and then withdrawn.”
Sources said many victims had reported the fraud to the bank. The bank told law enforcement agencies last year that more than Rs 45 crore had been siphoned off by the fraudsters.
The ED has started a case of money laundering against Amir and others who were allegedly involved in the development of the gaming app.