Enforcement Directorate (ED), on Wednesday, August 23, conducted searches at multiple locations in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The search now also includes premises of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s political advisor and close aides. Notably, the searches are in relation to illegal betting operations of Mahadev Book app.
The police recently uncovered illegal betting transactions worth over Rs 5,000 crore in the latest bust. The police also found multiple names of people that might be linked to the case.
Reacting to the search operation, Baghel sarcastically posted on ‘X’ saying, “Respected Prime Minister and Shri Amit Shah! Thank you very much for the priceless gift you have given by sending ED to my political advisor and my OSD and close friends on my birthday today.”
See the post on ‘X’ here:
आदरणीय प्रधानमंत्री जी एवं श्री अमित शाह जी!
मेरे जन्मदिन के दिन आज आपने मेरे राजनीतिक सलाहकार एवं मेरे OSD सहित करीबियों के यहाँ ED भेजकर जो अमूल्य तोहफा दिया है, इसके लिए बहुत आभार.
— Bhupesh Baghel (@bhupeshbaghel) August 23, 2023
An official aware of the matter spoke to The Indian Express, saying, “The operational team of Mahadev app got the money deposited into saving bank accounts which were opened after using fake documents or by luring innocent people after offering Rs 5,000 to them by taking their Aadhaar or Permanent Account Number (PAN) details.”
During the previous searches, ED questioned relatives of kingpins of the Mahadev Book’s operations, Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal. Few more premises of suspected individuals are also being searched by ED along with CRPF personnel.
The police are also looking for Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal who are said to be operating the entire thing from Dubai. Furthermore, two individuals named Yusuf Potti and Nitin Motwani also have a lookout notice on their head for their involvement in the illegal betting operations.
These operatives used to collect betting money in fake bank accounts and transfer it outside India through ‘hawala‘. The police have made over 500 arrests since the whole operation to curb these activities started.