Mahadev Betting App Case: '₹5 Crore Bribe Paid To Political Advisor,' Reveals ED Chargesheet

Mahadev Betting App Case: '₹5 Crore Bribe Paid To Political Advisor,' Reveals ED Chargesheet

Vinod Verma, Chhattisgarh chief minister's political advisor, met key accused Ravi Uppal to seek help against police action; Verma hinted at financial help

Ashish SinghUpdated: Sunday, October 22, 2023, 11:02 PM IST
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Mumbai: The probe into the Mahadev app case, which relates to laundering of whopping ₹6,000 crore, is revealing startling details with each passing day. The latest twist, which emanates from the recently filed charge-sheet by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), levels serious bribery charges against cops, politicians and bureaucrats, including the Chhattisgarh chief minister's political advisor (PA). The strong accusation can have serious ramifications for powers that be in the poll-bound state.

As per the statement of one of the accused – Satish Chandrakar – recorded in the charge-sheet, Ravi Uppal, a fugitive in the sensational case, met political advisor Vinod Verma back in 2000 and sought help to prevent police action against Mahadev Book. Apart from proceeds generated from Mahadev App IDs, approx ₹5 crore have been given to Vinod eight-10 transactions, said the charge-sheet.

A panel operator and Uppal's close aide, Chandrakar said in his statement that he facilitated the meeting after the Chhattisgarh police raided the accounts of two Mahadev Book holders. He further said that arrested Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Chandrabhusan Verma, who is alleged to be the main liaison for the Mahadev app, played a key role in arranging the meeting. Notably, the cop is Vinod's close relative.

During the discussion, Uppal enquired with the political advisor why a complaint had been registered against him. To which, Vinod responded, saying he was in huge debt and needed financial assistance. Subsequently, Uppal provided him with an ID for the Mahadev Book app, read the charge-sheet.

Cash deliveries and bribes

Chandrabhusan's statement extends Chandrakar's allegations as the cop said that his associate Rakesh Warke usually delivered cash to Vinod upon his instruction. Warke used to collect the money from Abhushan Jewellers in Sadar Bazar, Raipur, and then deliver it to Vinod at Vivekananda Vidyapeeth, Kota, Raipur. As per the charge-sheet, Officers on Special Duty in Chhattisgarh CMO, Manish Banchhor and Ashish Verma, also allegedly received bribes from the Mahadev app promoters. Laxminarayan Bansal and Vinod Bhatia, close associates of the incumbent Chief Minister, are also reported to have received kickbacks from Chandrabhusan. The ED has also raided their premises.

Protecting app promoters and bribery facilitation

In his statement, the cop concedes that his role was to ensure the safety and protection of the app promoters from the police and politicians. Besides receiving 'hawala' funds from Uppal, the ASI was also tasked with facilitating bribe payouts to police officials, politicians and bureaucrats on a monthly basis.

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