Published On: Wed, Dec 27th, 2023

ED to file fresh charge sheet in Mahadev betting app as promoter Saurabh Chandrakar detained in Dubai

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to file a fresh charge sheet soon in the multi-crore money laundering case involving the Mahadev online betting app, said sources on Wednesday.

ED investigation has revealed that the Mahadev Online Book App is run from a central head office in the UAE

The development comes after two promoters of the app, Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, were detained by the authorities in Dubai on the basis of a red notice issued by Interpol at the request of the ED.

The sources said that Chandrakar and Uppal, who are accused of running an illegal betting and gaming racket through online apps, have been put under “house detention” in Dubai and Indian agencies are working through diplomatic channels to get them deported or extradited. They said that Chandrakar’s location in Dubai has been intimated to the federal agency.

The ED is also expected to file a supplementary charge sheet against two people arrested by it in November from Chhattisgarh – alleged cash courier Asim Das and police constable Bheem Yadav.

The agency had earlier filed a charge sheet before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Raipur, naming Chandrakar, Uppal and some others.

The ED had claimed that Chandrakar and Uppal, who hail from Bhilai in Chhattisgarh, had paid about Rs 508 crore to former Chhattisgarh chief minister and senior Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel, based on the forensic analysis and statement of Das. The agency had said that these allegations were “subject matter of investigation”.

Das had later told the court that he had been framed as part of a conspiracy and he had never delivered cash to politicians.

The ED had also claimed that Chandrakar, who ran a juice shop in Bhilai before going to Dubai in 2019, had spent about Rs 200 crore “in cash” for his wedding at Ras Al Khaimah, UAE in February 2023, where he had hired private jets to ferry his relatives from India to the UAE and paid celebrities to perform.

The ED investigation has revealed that the Mahadev Online Book App is run from a central head office in the UAE and operates by franchising “Panel/Branches” to their known associates on a 70-30 per cent profit ratio. The agency had said that large-scale hawala operations are done to siphon off the proceeds of betting to off-shore accounts and large expenditure in cash is also done in India for advertising betting websites to attract new users and franchise seekers.

The Mahadev online book betting application is an umbrella syndicate arranging online platforms for enabling illegal betting websites, the ED had alleged.

The projected proceeds of crime in this case are about Rs 6,000 crore, according to the ED.

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