Chhattisgarh EOW raids 29 locations in investigations related to Mahadev App scam

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The Chhattisgarh Economic Offence Wing/Anti Corruption Bureau (EOW/ACB) conducted raids at 29 locations across five districts to investigate the Mahadev betting app scam, which came to light during the previous Congress-led government headed by Bhupesh Baghel.

The EOW/ACB launched the investigation in March this year after receiving a report from the Enforcement Directorate examining the money laundering aspect of the case, reported the Indian Express.

In a statement issued, the ACB/EOW revealed that they conducted searches at 18 sites in Durg district, seven in Raipur, two in Balodabazar, and one each in Raigarh and Kanker as part of the ongoing probe. During these searches, authorities seized electronic devices, bank-related documents, Hawala slips, assets-related papers, and other materials associated with the Mahadev app. These seized items are currently under scrutiny.

ETV Bharat reported that after the Lok Sabha elections, officials from the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) called a meeting of employees on the night of Wednesday 8th May. Overnight, they formed more than thirty teams and raided over seventy places with more than 70 personnel on Thursday morning.

The EOW/ACB statement mentioned that Arjun Singh Yadav, a long-term fugitive in the case, was arrested in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh. He was brought in for interrogation and following the questioning, Yadav was arrested.

The ACB/EOW has detained seven individuals in connection with the case so far. The FIR filed by the ACB/EOW alleges the involvement of former Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, the Dubai based promoters of the app, and 14 others as accused. The charges include criminal conspiracy, cheating, and using forged documents.

According to the FIR, Mahadev app promoters engaged in illegal online betting through various social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook, and Telegram. They allegedly earned significant amounts, around Rs. 450 crore monthly post the Covid lockdown in 2020, which they channeled through panel operators and branch operators.

The FIR stated, “The promoters conducted illegal acts of online betting through panel operators/ branch operators. They kept 70-80 per cent of illegal earnings with them and distributed the rest of the money to panel operators/ branch operators.”

The Enforcement Directorate has provisionally attached several immovable properties in connection with the case and filed chargesheets against the app promoters. The estimated proceeds of crime are pegged at approximately Rs. 6,000 crore.