Chhattisgarh police arrest 26 in Maharashtra for IPL betting racket

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Chhattisgarh police have arrested 26 individuals from Maharashtra in connection with a betting racket operating during IPL matches through online platforms, including the Mahadev app. According to Raipur Senior Superintendent of Police Santosh Singh, the arrests were made by the Anti-Crime and Cyber Unit (ACCU) from two apartments in Pune, reported the Times of India.

CNBCTV18 mentioned that this operation was undertaken by ACCU linked to a case under the Gambling Act and the Chhattisgarh Gambling (Prohibition) Act, 2022 registered at Ganj police station in Raipur. This operation has led to the arrest of a total of 34 bookies.

A recent joint action between the ACCU and Ganj police resulted in the arrest of eight people engaged in online betting on IPL matches at a flat in Goa. The police seized evidence, including laptops, mobile phones, and other electronic devices.

Interrogation of the arrested individuals revealed their involvement in betting activities facilitated through the Mahadev app panel in Pune. The ACCU team, conducting surveillance in Maharashtra as part of another investigation. They observed two apartments in Pune’s Bharti Vidyapeeth area for seven days before conducting the raid.

The 26 suspects arrested from these flats, were engaged in online betting. 22 of them are from different districts of Chhattisgarh, 3 from Madhya Pradesh, and 1 from Uttar Pradesh. The police confiscated 11 laptops, 98 mobile phones, a calculator, and other items collectively valued at Rs. 25 lakh.

Investigations revealed that the accused operated through multiple ID panels/branches of various betting apps, including the Reddy app and the Mahadev app. Each ID panel was purchased for amounts ranging from Rs. 35 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh. Transactions worth Rs 30 crore were traced from the seized laptops and mobile phones, and information about 1,000 players involved in betting was acquired from their devices and bank accounts.

The accused have revealed their connections to Pappu Jethwani, a person with a criminal history from Raipur’s Purani Basti area, who is absconding. Additional charges under sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, along with provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act and IT Act, have been added to the case.

This operation adds to the ACCU Raipur’s tally of 57 arrests in nine cases related to IPL betting this year. The Mahadev betting app crime currently under scrutiny is estimated to involve proceeds of about Rs. 6,000 crore, according to the ED.