ED begins investigation into Mahadev gaming application under PMLA

Published on:

According to sources, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has started looking into the banking activities of the “Mahadev” online gaming app, which is suspected of involving transactions of 5,000 crore rupees.

The ED requested information on the case from the station house officer (SHO) of the Supela police station in a letter on December 9 sent to Chhattisgarh’s Durg police as part of its probe into money laundering through the Mahadev app.

In a letter addressed to the Supela SHO, assistant director of ED Mukesh Kumar said, “In this regard, it is required to provide a copy of the FIR/charge sheets along with the details of the bank accounts discovered during the search operation related to the ‘Public Gambling Act.’”

More than 250 individuals, mostly from Durg, Raipur, and Bilaspur, including more than a dozen kingpins, were detained by the Chhattisgarh police in the previous three months as part of a crackdown on betting applications, according to state police officials.

Police claimed that the arrested suspects ran businesses that attracted customers to participate in online betting through the “Mahadev” gaming application. A senior police official of Durg said, “The ED has asked for all the details mentioning the sections of PMLA, which means that a case has been registered. The ED will be focusing on more than 50 corporate accounts linked with gaming applications.”

“These activities can attract stringent provisions of both Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and PMLA,” the officer added.

The authorities believed that transactions of 5,000 crores had occurred in the country over the course of the previous year using the “Mahadev gaming application,” which was mostly run from Chhattisgarh.

More than 30 centers in India were used to run the gaming application, and each of those centers handled more than 200 crores in transactions.

According to the ED, one million people actively placed wagers on the “Mahadev App” in the previous year. Officials said, “Most of these bets range from ₹1,000 to ₹5,000 and were aimed to target the middle class and the lower middle-class families.

The police said, “We have zeroed in more than 50 corporate Mahadev accounts and have details of about 10,000 savings accounts of people which were used to place bets.”

“ED is likely to question some of the main accused in the case shortly and may initiate proceedings against the app handlers in Dubai,” officers added.