Mumbai, September 15, 2023
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken action to freeze and confiscate assets amounting to Rs 417 crore in connection with the Mahadev online betting case, as revealed by officials on Friday.
Dubai-Based Company Allegedly Laundering Money
The company operated by Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, headquartered in Dubai, stands accused of exploiting the online book betting application to register new users, establish user IDs, and engage in money laundering via a complex network of benami bank accounts, according to allegations.
Widespread Searches Uncover Incriminating Evidence
The ED disclosed that it recently conducted extensive searches targeting money laundering networks associated with the Mahadev APP across multiple cities, including Kolkata, Bhopal, and Mumbai. Substantial incriminating evidence was reportedly recovered during these operations, resulting in the freezing and seizure of crime proceeds valued at Rs 417 crore.
UAE-Based Central Head Office for Mahadev Online Book App
Investigations by the ED have revealed that the Mahadev Online Book App is administered from a central head office located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The operation involves the franchising of “Panel/Branches” to known associates, with profits divided on a 70-30 percent ratio, as stated by the ED.
Hawala Operations and Large-Scale Expenditure
The ED’s inquiry further indicates the utilization of large-scale hawala operations to divert betting proceeds to offshore accounts. Substantial cash expenditure is also reportedly undertaken in India for the advertising of betting websites, aimed at attracting new users and franchise seekers.
Mahadev Promoters from Chhattisgarh
The promoters of the company originally hail from Bhilai in Chhattisgarh, while the Mahadev Online Book Betting application is described as an umbrella syndicate facilitating online platforms for illicit betting websites.