ED Interrogates Celebs, Files Chargesheet: Mahadev Betting App Scam

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According to media reports, in the Mahadev online betting scam case, the Enforcement Directorate has filed its first chargesheet before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Raipur on Friday.

ED has alleged 14 persons in the chargesheet, including app promoters Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, along with other accused Vikas Chhapariya, Chandrabhushan Verma, Satish Chandrakar, Anil Dammani, Sunil Dammani, Vishal Ahuja and Dheeraj Ahuja. The agency has also named Srijan Associates through Punaram Verma, Shiv Kumar Verma, Yashoda Verma, and Pawan Nathan in the prosecution complaint.

The agency’s lawyer Saurabh Pandey told a media firm that the 14 accused have been charged under sections 44 and 45 of the PMLA. He further said that the probe will now be focused on Bollywood stars and other influencers who were paid via hawala channels to promote the betting app.

Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor and Huma Qureshi have been summoned for questioning, but they are not cooperating, according to Pandey.

After investigating the celebrities, the focus will turn to the alleged political connections of the betting app’s promoters. It is believed that some police officers in Chhattisgarh colluded with the accused in the scandal.

The investigation agency plans to seek help from Interpol to issue a Red Corner Notice against the promoters Uppal and Chandrakar. According to PTI, the amount involved in the case is estimated to be around Rs 6,000 crore. So far, the agency has provisionally attached Rs 41 crore. The PMLA court is expected to consider the chargesheet during the next scheduled hearing on 25 November.

The matter erupted into national headlines after Chandrakar’s allegedly lavish Rs 200 crore wedding caught the attention of ED sleuths. Chandrakar contests the fact and claims that the wedding cost AED 10 million ( Rs 22 crore).

The grand ceremony had performances by Bollywood stars like Vishal Dadlani, Tiger Shroff, Sunny Leone, Neha Kakkar, Nushrratt Bharuccha, and others. The Chandrakar family members were supposedly flown by private jets from Nagpur to the UAE.

According to the agency, Chandrakar and Uppal are the alleged masterminds of the scam. They operate the platform from a central office in the UAE. The platform works by franchising its branches/panels to their associates, sharing profits on a 70:30 ratio.

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