Sat. May 18th, 2024

Gold bars, jewellery, and cash worth Rs 417 crore were found by the Enforcement Directorate during their searches at 39 locations connected to the Mahadev betting app. The app gained attention recently when Bollywood actors Ranbir Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor, who had endorsed the app, were summoned for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate. Four people have been arrested in connection with the case, while the app’s masterminds and promoters are in Dubai. The app came under scrutiny after a Rs 200-crore wedding in the UAE earlier this year, which was paid for in cash.

Here’s how the app managed to evade regulations and accumulate a massive amount of money:

Attracting New Customers:
The Mahadev online betting app was run by Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal from Dubai, both hailing from Bhilai in Chhattisgarh. The company would create new websites and closed groups on chat apps to attract new customers. They also ran paid advertisements on social media to encourage people to text their numbers for profit. Only WhatsApp was used to contact these numbers. Mahadev’s customer care executives would guide new users on creating User IDs and provide them with two numbers. One number was for depositing money and making bets, while the other was for contacting customer care and cashing out their earnings. All the accounts used for transactions were fraudulent.

Network of Call Centres:
Mahadev had numerous call centres spread across Malaysia, Thailand, India, and UAE. These call centres operated 24/7, creating subsidiary apps and websites and interacting with customers. The Enforcement Directorate’s investigation revealed that the app witnessed transactions worth thousands of crores on a daily basis, making a profit of Rs 200 crore per day.

Nexus of Police, Bureaucrats, and Politicians:
The Mahadev Online Book App is operated from a central head office in the UAE. It franchises “Panel/Branches” to known associates on a profit-sharing ratio. Hawala operations were conducted to transfer betting proceeds to offshore accounts. Around 30 call centres were opened in major Indian cities, managed by Anil Dammani and Sunil Dammani. Both brothers have been arrested. Police, politicians, and bureaucrats were involved in maintaining the syndicate’s operations. Some of the hawala money was sent to these stakeholders to ensure that the app remained under the radar of probe agencies.

Bollywood Connection:
Several Bollywood celebrities, including Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Kapil Sharma, and Hina Khan, were called in for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate. They had performed at the Dubai wedding earlier this year and were allegedly paid through hawala transactions. Ranbir Kapoor is also accused of promoting one of the apps operated by the syndicate. The actors’ interrogation is aimed at uncovering the source of the money they received from the betting app.

The investigation into the Mahadev betting app continues as authorities delve deeper into its illegal activities.

By admin