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ED Files New Charge Sheet in Mahadev App Case, Seeks Extradition of Promoters

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken significant steps in the ongoing investigation into alleged illegal betting and gaming through the Mahadev online book app. A new charge sheet has been filed before a special court in Raipur, signifying a crucial development in the money laundering case, with key figures Ravi Uppal and Sourabh Chandrakar, identified as prime promoters of the app, currently under detention in Dubai following an Interpol red notice. The ED plans to collaborate with authorities in Dubai to seek the deportation or extradition of these individuals.

The comprehensive 1,700-1,800 page charge sheet, filed on January 1, implicates five individuals, including Aseem Das, an alleged cash courier, police constable Bheem Singh Yadav, and Shubham Soni, a significant executive associated with the app.



ED files fresh charge sheet in Mahadev app case, pursuing extradition of  promoters - BusinessToday
ED files fresh charge sheet in Mahadev app case, pursuing extradition of promoters

Saurabh Pandey, counsel for the ED, revealed that the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court is set to review the charge sheet on January 10, marking a crucial juncture in the legal proceedings. This latest development follows earlier arrests made by the agency in November, strategically timed before the Chhattisgarh assembly polls. Notably, Soni, who previously claimed ownership of the app, surfaced with a video statement and an affidavit asserting evidence of kickbacks offered to politicians for allowing the app’s illegal operations to continue unchecked.

The ED’s first charge sheet implicated Chandrakar and Uppal, alleging extravagant spending of around Rs 200 crore in cash for a wedding event in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, in 2023. It was suggested that these funds originated from the app’s illegal activities, with allegations of bribes directed towards state politicians and bureaucrats.

The projected illicit proceeds amount to approximately Rs 6,000 crore, as estimated by the ED. The agency’s investigation has drawn in numerous celebrities and Bollywood personalities for questioning regarding their involvement and payment modes linked to the online betting platform. In a separate claim, Asim Das, previously arrested by the agency, alleged payments of Rs 508 crore to former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, leading to heated denials and accusations from Baghel and the Congress party, labelling it as a smear campaign.

Originating from Bhilai town in Chhattisgarh, the promoters of the Mahadev online book betting application are accused of orchestrating an extensive network of illegal betting websites. The ED’s pursuit of justice involves seeking collaboration with international authorities and utilizing legal processes to ensure accountability for the alleged financial irregularities and illegal activities associated with the Mahadev app. The outcome of the legal proceedings, especially the review of the charge sheet on January 10, will provide further insights into the potential consequences for the accused individuals and the overall implications for the online betting platform.

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