ED Registers New Money Laundering Case Against 8 Betting Apps Including FairPlay

ED Registers New Money Laundering Case Against 8 Betting Apps Including FairPlay

Apart from FairPlay, Pikashow app, Foxi App, Vedu App, Smart Player Lite App, Film Plus app, Tea TV app, Wow TV app, and their actual promoters are under the scrutiny of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Ashish SinghUpdated: Saturday, January 13, 2024, 09:50 PM IST
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Enforcement Directorate (ED) | File Image

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a new money laundering case against eight betting apps, including FairPlay, an alleged subsidiary app of the Mahadev app. These apps are accused of illegally broadcasting IPL tournaments on their streaming sites and accepting bets.

The ED initiated an ECIR based on the Maharashtra Cyber Cell FIR, where a Viacom18 group alleged a revenue loss of Rs 100 crores. The complaint asserted that the Viacom 18 group possessed exclusive rights to broadcast IPL matches in 2023. However, the online betting app FairPlay allegedly displayed hoardings across Mumbai, broadcasting live telecasts of IPL 2023 without obtaining permission from the Viacom18. Furthermore, apps were accused of accepting bets on the matches being played.

Bollywood Celebrities Under Scanner

FairPlay, an alleged subsidiary app of the Mahadev app, gained attention due to endorsements by many Bollywood personalities. According to sources, more than 40 Bollywood celebrities are under scrutiny for promoting Fair play during the IPL 2023.

Recently, the Maharashtra Cyber Cell recorded statements from Sanjay Dutt's manager, Jacqueline Fernandez's manager, and rapper Badshah. The Bollywood actress Tamannaah Bhatia has also been summoned for a statement by maharashtra cyber cell. In the ongoing investigation of the Mahadev betting app case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to Ranbir Kapoor,shradhha kapoor and several celebrities for his promotional activities for illegal betting app FairPlay.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) became involved in the investigation following the revelation of several suspicious transactions through hawala channels to Bollywood celebrities for the promotion and endorsement of betting apps. In a supplementary chargesheet filed in December in the Mahadev Online Book case, the ED had alleged that Mahadev Online Book and its sister concerns namely, Reddy Anna and FairPlay would be having monthly earnings of Rs 450 crores every month at the average rate of Rs 3 lakh earnings per panel per month.

Celebrities Promoting FairPlay Received Money From Dubai-Based Companies

In December 2023, the Maharashtra Cyber Cell arrested the accused Gulam Abbas Muni. FPJ exclusively access the investigation related document which reveal that during the investigation, the Cyber Cell found that celebrities involved in endorsing and promoting FairPlay received money from the accounts of different companies based in Dubai.

Specifically, during the inquiry, it was found that actor Sanjay Dutt received funds from the account of a company named Play Venture, a Curacao-based entity. Rapper Badshah received money from the account of Lycos Group FZF, a Dubai-based company. Jacqueline Fernandez received funds from the account of a company named Trim General Trading LLC, also based in Dubai. Videos of the promotion and endorsement by these celebrities are available on their social media platforms. All these celebrities provided the contract agreement document to the cyber cell.

Betting Apps Under Probe

Apart from FairPlay, Pikashow app, Foxi App, Vedu App, Smart Player Lite App, Film Plus app, Tea TV app, Wow TV app, and their actual promoters are under the scrutiny of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). These apps are alleged to have illicitly obtained content from complaint broadcast company-under different channels, broadcasting serials, reality shows, and other content on their illegal platforms.

During the cyber cell investigation its also reveled an application Pikashow as an accused apart from FairPlay. it was found out that the money coming to this application from Google Ads is going to Islamabad Pakistan. According to the investigation report information received from Google, pirated copies of all new movies and web series are available on an application called Pikashow and the advertisements that come on this application through Google go to the bank account of a person named Rasheed and Junaid and this bank account.

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