Mahadev Betting App Scam: The story of the promoters of Mahadev Online Book Betting App is as intriguing as how the company came under the radar of the ED. We decode the whole issue for you.
Bollywood A-listers like Huma Qureshi, Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor have been summoned by ED in the case.
From running a juice and tyre shop in Chhattisgarh’s Bhilai to building an app enabling illegal betting websites that ran from the UAE, the story of the promoters of Mahadev Online Book Betting App is as intriguing as how the company came under the radar of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The app promoters are suspected to have made Rs 5,000 crore, ED sources told The Indian Express.
The Mahadev app grabbed headlines after the ED summoned Bollywood A-listers like Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Huma Qureshi, Hina Khan and comedian Kapil Sharma for questioning in the case. In fact, around 14-15 other celebrities and actors are also under the ED’s scanner, PTI reported.
Here is all you need to know about the case, how the app conducted its illegal activities from the UAE and how the actors were involved.
What is the Mahadev Online Booking App?
Mahadev Books is essentially a mobile application that can be downloaded on mobile. The app provides platforms for illegal betting in virtual games like poker, teen patti, cricket etc.
For using the app, one will have to obtain a user ID and password, which are typically owned by people associated with the app. These user IDs are sold for a hefty sum costing up to thousands of rupees. Once acquired, users can engage in online betting activities through the app. All financial transactions are channeled through bank accounts or online transactions.
Police said the app began its operations in 2017, but its reach saw a massive increase during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, when people were locked in their homes due to the lockdown.
The app’s operation is carried out by “panel owners” who manage multiple groups on messaging platforms. These “panel owners” reportedly oversee four to five platforms. The company reaped daily profits estimated at Rs 200 crore, according to a report in NDTV.
Interestingly, all the virtual games hosted by the app’s platforms were rigged in a manner that the “panel owners” do not lose money. Even though the users made initial profits, whose payments were done using benami bank accounts, ultimately they incurred losses once they got addicted.
How Did The Mahadev App Come Under Police Radar?
The app came into limelight when the SP of Durg, Abhishek Pallav, arrested some people linked to the betting app. FIRs were also registered in the case. Gradually, people involved in this online gaming started getting arrested from other states also. During questioning, the name of the masterminds of the betting app, Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, came up.
The police also recovered several bank passbooks from those arrested. These accounts were used by the operators of the app to carry out financial transactions. Upon investigation, it came to light that people linked to the app approached unsuspecting individuals with the promise of opening bank accounts in their names and gave them Rs 10,000. The victims were told that they need not take any further action after opening the accounts. The people then kept the bank passbooks and ATM cards with them. The accounts were then used to launder illegal betting money.
How Did Bollywood Celebrities Come Under The Radar?
Recently, a video of Saurabh Chandrakar’s lavish wedding in the UAE went viral on social media platforms. Around Rs 200 crore was spent on the ceremony at a seven-star luxury hotel in Dubai. Private jets were hired to ferry family members from Nagpur to the UAE.
At the event, several celebrities performed and entertained guests, PTI reported. The actors also promoted the Mahadev app. ED has in possession the details of the payments of hotels and transport, which it found during the searches carried out last month.
The stars were reportedly paid Rs 40 crore by the promoters of the betting platform, a report in Hindustan Times said. Hawala channels were used to make payments in cash.
Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Kapil Sharma, Huma Qureshi, Hima Khan have so far been issued summons to appear at the ED office in Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
Last month, the ED stated that it seized Rs 417 crore after carrying out searches in Kolkata, Bhopal, and Mumbai in connection with the Mahadev betting app case.
Who Are The Masterminds Of The Mahadev Books App?
Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, the promoters of the app, had modest beginnings before building a betting ’empire’ in the UAE. Born in Chhattisgarh’s Bhilai, Sourabh Chandrakar used to operate a juice shop in Nehru Nagar, NDTV reported. Ravi Uppal ran a tyre repair shop. Sleuths said both were addicted to gambling.
Soon, Chandrakar and Uppal went to Dubai with their life savings. There they met a sheikh and a Pakistani national, who helped the duo set up the Mahadev online betting app, NDTV reported. The ED has issued non-bailable warrants and lookout circulars against the duo.
source by : abp news
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