Mahadev Betting App Case: Chhattisgarh Police Conducted Covert Surveillance Operation On ED Officials

Mahadev Betting App Case: Chhattisgarh Police Conducted Covert Surveillance Operation On ED Officials

The details of this covert operation came to light during the ED interrogation of the arrested accused, Chandra Bhusan Verma, in the Mahadev betting app case.

Ashish SinghUpdated: Thursday, March 21, 2024, 10:42 PM IST
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Abhishek Maheshwari | FPJ

The Chhattisgarh police, at the behest of Saurabh Chandrakar the alleged mastermind behind the Mahadev App scam, initiated a covert surveillance operation aimed at monitoring the activities and operation of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The details of this covert operation came to light during the ED interrogation of the arrested accused, Chandra Bhusan Verma, in the Mahadev betting app case. Verma's statement is part of the prosecution complaint filed by the ED in the PMLA court in Raipur.

Verma, an assistant sub-inspector of the State Intelligence Bureau, revealed that under the direction of Abhishek Maheshwari, who held positions as Additional SP Intelligence and Additional SP Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Chhattisgarh crime branch officers and local police informers were deployed outside the ED office.

These informers, disguised as local vendors, including tea sellers, street food vendors, and pan shop owners, monitored the movements of ED officials without raising any suspicion.

Verma's statement further disclosed that these informers collected daily activities of ED officers and reported to Sandeep Dikshit and Radhakant Pandey, Head Constables of Raipur Police, who in turn reported to Abhishek Maheshwari.

During the investigation, the ED recovered a chat from Verma's iPhone 14 dated 19th July 2023, where he informed several people about the arrival of 150 to 200 officers from the ED and IT departments in Raipur and cautioned them to remain vigilant. Verma later revealed during interrogation that Chhattisgarh police were conducting surveillance on the ED office and its officers.

Verma further stated  that the information about the movement of 150 to 200 officers in Raipur to conduct a search operation, was received first-hand by the Head Constables concerned.

This information was relayed to them by undercover police informers posing as vendors at the ED office for surveillance. Upon receiving the information, both constables Sandeep Dixit and Radhakant Pandey verified it with the staff at various hotels on VIP Road, namely V.W. Canyon, Grand Imperia, Hotel Triton, and Hotel Babylon Capital, and confirmed that officials from central agencies had checked into these hotels.

Following the confirmation, both Head Constables promptly relayed the information to Abhishek Maheshwari. According to Verma, Abhishek Maheshwari, who was the Additional SP Raipur and was overseeing the operation conveyed this crucial information to him (Verma) via a Facetime call. Maheshwari instructed Verma to alert all individuals associated with the state government who were suspected to be raided.

Verma mentioned that after receiving the information about the ED officials' movement for a raid on 20th July 2023 from Abhishek Maheshwari, he alerted several people, including family members and others close to senior bureaucrats, political figures, and businessmen in Chhattisgarh.

It is alleged that Abhishek Maheshwari received Rs 35 lakh per month from the Mahadev app promoters, and Chandrakar and Uppal funded Maheshwari’s purchase of a flat in Ramayan Enclave, Kamadiah Shankar Nagar, Raipur. He is currently posted as additional SP Bilaspur (Rural).

When Free Press Journal (FPJ) contacted Abhishek Maheshwari regarding the surveillance and the alleged monthly payment of Rs. 35 lakhs from Saurabh Chandrakar, he stated that he does not regularly use his phone, suggesting that someone else might be using or have hacked his phone to provide information and direction to Chandra Bhusan Verma.

He declined to comment on the money received from Chandrakar for funding his house, stating that he is unaware of what Verma might have said. 

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