Mahadev Betting App Case: ED's Nationwide Searches Unveil Complex Trail Of Hawala, Offshore Transactions

Mahadev Betting App Case: ED's Nationwide Searches Unveil Complex Trail Of Hawala, Offshore Transactions

Three locations in Mumbai, linked with hawala operations, shell companies, and foreign direct investment-related companies, are part of the ED search operation.

Ashish SinghUpdated: Wednesday, February 28, 2024, 10:38 PM IST
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The Enforcement Directorate is conducting searches at 17 locations across the country as part of the Mahadev betting app probe. The searches are being conducted in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and the National Capital Region (NCR), according to reliable sources.

Three locations in Mumbai, linked with hawala operations, shell companies, and foreign direct investment-related companies, are part of the ED search operation.

ED Searches and the Mahadev Betting App Case

ED Searches were held at six places in West Bengal, including the residence and office of a businessman in Salt Lake. Searches were also conducted at the house of an employee of the businessman in Ichhapur in North 24 Parganas, and the residence of a share trader in Hatibagan in Kolkata.

According to ED officials, the ongoing ED searches nationwide are connected to Rs 1000 crore of betting money which is being utilised in the share market, stocks, bogus diamond trade, offshore real estate, land deals, investment in shell companies, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and shell companies to streamline betting business transactions.

Additionally, the ED has identified key suspect and his associate of Mahadev app promoter, who are believed to be the Key player  behind handling the sprawling financial empire of Mahadev Betting App. According to sources, the current searches were linked with the financial trail of Mahadev betting app syndicate.

Findings from the investigation

The investigation into the Mahadev betting app scandal revealed that proceeds from the illicit betting activities of Mahadev Online Book App and its subsidiary apps, including Fairplay, Bet365, Lotus 365, 11xplay, 99exch, Bet Bhai, BJ88, CBTF, Coexch99, Fairbook247, Fair Exchange, Laserbook 247, Winbuzz, ReddyAnna, and SportsX9, amounting to crores, were routed to Dubai through Hawala channels and other payment gateways.

Subsequently, a significant portion of these funds was directed to tax haven countries like the British Virgin Islands, Curacao, and Vanuatu. Funds from these tax havens were then allegedly laundered in India, with investments made in the Indian stock market and various shell companies.

ED also found that earned money through betting and sent it abroad through Hawala from India. Subsequently, this same money has been re-invested in India through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). According to sources, the search is going on based on the interrogation and clues received from Nitish Diwan, who was recently arrested by the federal agency.

Dewan Mahadev is a close associate of Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, the main promoters of the online book. He operated at the highest echelons of the organization in the UAE. Nitish Diwan was found to be holding assets in his name that were actually beneficially owned by the promoters of Mahadev Online Book. He maintained bank accounts in the UAE and used these accounts to route hawala funds linked to betting.

Additionally, several shell companies were set up in his name in the UAE and used to channel illegal  betting proceeds. According to the sources, ED found a money trail link of Vikas Chaparia, a close associate of Saurabh Chandrakar. Currently,ED conducted searches in Kolkata in connection with Chaparia. Chaparia is the finance manager of the business syndicate behind the Mahadev betting app. Recently, the ED froze the company assets which Chaparia allegedly used to invest betting money into FDI and stock market trading.

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