Mumbai, September 16: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday nabbed four persons in connection with the Mahadev online betting case, wherein it is suspected that the two primary promoters, residing in Dubai, may have accrued an estimated Rs 5,000 crores. Additionally, the ED confiscated assets valued at Rs 417 crore. Saurabh Chandrakar, along with Ravi Uppal, are the main promoters of Mahadev Online Booking.

As per the ED, Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, from Bhilai, Chattisgarh, are the main promoters of Mahadev Online Book and their M/s Mahadev Online Book is run from a central Head Office in UAE and operates by franchising “Panel/Branches” to their known associates on a 70:30 profit ratio. Mahadev Gambling App Case: Rs 200 Crore Wedding in UAE Puts Betting App Promoter Sourabh Chandrakar Under Enforcement Directorate Scanner.

Who Is Saurabh Chandrakar?

Sourabh Chandrakar, 28, along with Uppal, 43, are the main promoters of Mahadev Online Book, and they ran the business from Dubai. They have total control over its operations and keep 80 per cent of the profits. Chandrakar and Uppal, initially local bookies, expanded their operations overseas with an illegal app to reach a broader audience. Chandrakar, in his twenties, used to sell juice in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, while Uppal holds an engineering degree. It was in 2018 that they both migrated to Dubai and started the platform.

ED sources said the duo is suspected to have made Rs 5,000 crores from this app. ED amped up its investigation after Chandrakar, in total, spent Rs 200 crore for his wedding in Dubai, and of this Rs 200 crore, over Rs 100 crore was given to the Malad-based event firm. His wedding was attended by stars like Atif Aslam, Vishal Dadlani, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Tiger Shroff, Ali Asgar, Sunny Leone, Krisi Kharbanda, Elli AvrRam, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Bharti Singh, Krusha Abhishek and Bhagyashree. Chhattisgarh: Enforcement Directorate Arrests 4 in Online Money Laundering Case.

What Is Mahadev Online Betting Case?

As per the ED, Mahadev Online Book Betting App is an umbrella syndicate arranging online platforms for enabling illegal betting websites to enrol new users, create User IDs and launder money through a layered web of benami bank accounts. The agency has recently conducted widespread searches against the money laundering networks linked with the Mahadev App in cities like Kolkata, Bhopal, Mumbai etc., and retrieved large amounts of incriminating evidence and has frozen/seized proceeds of crime worth Rs 417 Crore.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has revealed that substantial cash outlays are being made within India for the promotion of betting websites and self-promotion efforts aimed at luring new users and franchise seekers. Earlier, the ED conducted searches in Chhattisgarh and detained four individuals, including the chief liaison responsible for disbursing bribes to senior government officials as "protection money."

The crackdown on Mahadev Online Book by the Chhattisgarh Police began in 2021. To date, 75 FIRs have been registered by the Chhattisgarh Police, and 429 accused have been arrested from across India.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 16, 2023 04:58 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website