Mobile game probe: India’s ED freezes Bitcoin worth Rs 7 Crore

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Key Takeaways:

  • As a result of an ongoing probe into money laundering involving the gaming app E-nuggets, India’s Enforcement Department (ED) reports that it has frozen an additional 44.5 bitcoins.
  • Regarding the same investigation, the authority has already frozen about 86 bitcoins on the cryptocurrency exchange Binance.

In conformity with the requirements of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, Directorate of Enforcement (ED) conducted a search operation at two locations in Kolkata, resulting in the confiscation of cash totaling Rs. 1.65 crores, the freezing of 44.5 bitcoin (equivalent to INR 7.12 crore), and other accusatory documents in connection with an investigation being conducted into the mobile gaming application known as E-nuggets.

The current case was opened based on an FIR dated 15.02.2021 filed by Park Street Police Station, Kolkata Police, against Aamir Khan and others under several IPC sections, as a result of a complaint made by Federal Bank officials in the court of Learned Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Calcutta.

The ED had already repeatedly frozen cryptocurrencies related to its E-nuggets investigative process leading up to its official statement on Thursday. The ED reported on September 28 that it had frozen 77.62710139 bitcoins at the Binance cryptocurrency exchange. More BTC was consequently frozen by the authority. 

A total of “85.91870554 bitcoins equivalent to USD $1674255.7 (equivalent to Rs 13.56 Cr approx. as per market exchange rate) found in balance in Binance exchange was frozen,” the ED stated in its announcement on September 30.

Additionally, the ED has frozen Wazirx accounts related to the E-nuggets case that contain WRX, the utility token of the Indian cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx, and stablecoin tether (USDT), equivalent to Rs 47.64 lakhs.

A total of Rs 51.16 Cr has been frozen or seized in this case during investigations under the PMLA. According to the press release, an additional investigation is ongoing.

August 2022 saw a slew of ED raids on crypto platforms, ranging from the ED raiding five CoinSwitch Kuber locations for alleged Foreign Exchange Management Act violations to freezing Rs 370 crore in assets of troubled Vauld.

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Aadrika Sharma
Aadrika Sharma

I enjoy writing and try to learn new things every passing day!

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