It took over 16 hours and eight counting machines for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials to count the heap of cash that was recovered from the residence of a businessman in Kolkata on Saturday. The businessman, Aamir Khan, launched a mobile gaming application namely E-Nuggets, which was designed for the purpose of defrauding the public, the ED said. The raids were conducted under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

ED officials recovered over Rs 17 crore from the Garden Reach residence of businessman Aamir Khan. The central agency found 10 trunks on the spot. However, the cash was found in 5 trunks at Khan’s residence.

The search on Saturday morning and the counting of cash continued till late at night. The ED search team was accompanied by bank officials and central forces.Sources said the stacks of notes were mostly in the denomination of Rs 500. However, currency notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 200 were also there.

The case was registered on the basis of the First Information Report (FIR) on February 15 last year at Park Street Police Station in Kolkata against Aamir Khan and others based on a complaint filed by Federal Bank authorities, in the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Calcutta.

During the initial period, the agency said, the users were rewarded with the commission and the balance in the wallet could be withdrawn hassle-free.“This provided initial confidence among users and they started investing bigger amounts for a greater percentage of commission and a greater number of purchase orders,” the probe agency said.

It said after collecting a handsome amount from the public, all of a sudden, the withdrawal from the app was stopped, at one or the other pretext such as system upgradation etc. “Thereafter, all data including profile information was wiped off from the app servers and only then the users understood the ploy.”

Earlier on Saturday, the central agency had carried out search operations at six locations in Kolkata with respect to an investigation relating to the mobile gaming application. During the search operation, the ED said, it was noticed that the entities linked to the case were using dummy accounts.