Hyderabad casino raids: ED questions Chikoti Praveen & Co for second day, Congress demands CBI probe

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials continued questioning Chikoti Praveen Kumar for the second day on August 2. On the first day, the ED officials grilled Chikoti Praveen for 11 hours. They questioned Chikoti Praveen Kumar and a few others in connection with the violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and hawala transactions amounting to INR 27 crores.

ED also questioned his associates Madhava Reddy and three others Babu Lal, Gowri Shankar and Sampath. The questioning went on for 11 hours on the second day. Based on the information collected, ED is now going to issue notices to one Zilla Parishad Chairman and four other political leaders, reported Telugu daily Sakshi.

The Congress party had demanded CM KCR to seek a CBI probe and come clean on the allegations of ruling TRS party links with Chikoti Praveen.

Releasing photos and video of casino mastermind Chikoti Praveen, AICC spokesperson Dasoji Sravan accused TRS leaders of aiding Chikoti Praveen. He demanded raids on homes of all TRS leaders whose names have cropped up during the investigation.

There were allegations that a TRS minister was close to Chikoti Praveen. Chikoti Praveen allegedly used the car of minister Malla Reddy with an assembly entry sticker.

Meanwhile, several fake social media handles came up under the name of Chikoti Praveen. A fake account on Twitter with username @praveenchikotii was created and tweets were done threatening government officials and political leaders. The fake posts also mentioned the name of the Chief Minister and several MLAs and MLCs. The accounts are now inactive.

Chikoti Praveen clarified that he is not operating the social media accounts and has complained to Central Crime Station, Hyderabad about the fake social media profiles.

The ED last week conducted searches at eight locations in Hyderabad and in Andhra Pradesh against casino organisers and agents for violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) rules.  It is alleged that Praveen in association with a Goa based casino group organised casinos in Nepal in June this year and special flights were arranged for the gamers and the winners were reportedly paid through hawala transactions.