Illegal betting app ‘Mahadev Book’ mastermind to get married in UAE

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The mastermind of the online illegal betting app Mahadev Book, Saurabh Chandrakar, who originally hails from Bhilai in Chhattisgarh is set to get married in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) later this month, as per local media reports. The Chhattisgarh police, according to Bhilai-Durg Superintendent of Police (SP) of Durg Bhilai region Dr. Abhishek Pallava, are keeping an eye on the number of people attending as per news reports from Bhilai. Immigration authorities have also been contacted, and the police have issued a lookout notice, as per Pallava.

Several cases of people making bets on sports using Mahadev Book have been surfacing in recent days. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) also started an investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The app was suspected of involving transactions of 5,000 crore rupees over one year.

The Chhattisgarh police have detained more than 250 people during the crackdown on the Mahadev gaming app. Most of the operations are handled in Dubai.

To curb the menace of online gambling and betting, the Chhattisgarh legislative assembly on 4th January 2023 passed the Chhattisgarh Gambling (Prohibition) Bill, 2022.  The proposed law makes online betting and advertisement of gambling and betting a cognisable and non-bailable offence, thereby strengthening police and investigation authorities who have often claimed that the current almost two centuries old Public Gambling Act, 1867 is weak and ineffective to deal with the rising menace of online gambling.

The new gambling law passed by the Bhupesh Baghel-led government is still pending the assent of Governor Anusuiya Uikey. The new Act will come into force after the governor’s assent.

Last month, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in Raipur received a series of documents from the Chhattisgarh opposition BJP on Tuesday, asking for an investigation into the Mahadev App Betting scam on the grounds that the online betting platform was used to launder thousands of crores of rupees.

The company’s corporate accounts are allegedly linked to fictional companies that transfer or launder money obtained through unlawful online gambling software to safe havens in the Middle East.