ED freezes Rs 417 crore in Mahadev Book betting racket

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The Enforcement Directorate (ED) recently seized assets worth Rs 417 crore as a part of their investigation towards illegal betting app Mahadev Book. The ED is also actively probing against Mahadev Book’s masterminds Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal.

Recently, ED booked angadiya entities across different locations. These angadiya entities were used as hawala channel to transfer money to an event management firm in Mumbai. Notably, Chandrakar hired the firm to take care of his wedding preparations back in February.

As per ED reports, Chandrakar spent over 200 crore on his wedding in Dubai, out of which over 100 crore was paid to the event management firm. Private jets were arranged for the people attending the wedding, including celebrities who were hired to perform during the ceremony.

“Wedding planners, dancers, decorators etc. were hired from Mumbai and hawala channels were used to make payments in cash. As per the digital evidences gathered by ED, Rs 112 Crore was delivered via hawala to an events’ management company,” ED said as per NDTV.

See ED’s post on ‘X’ here

The receipt for Rs 112 Crore hawala money was found during search conducted at the premises of Yogesh Popat, Mithilesh and other linked Organizers. Further, ED officials also seized Rs 2.37 crores worth of cash during search.

Owners of Rapid Travels, Dheeraj Ahuja and Vishal Ahuja were also investigated by the ED. Reportedly, they were responsible for booking tickets for Chandrakar’s family, celebrities, and others promoting betting websites like FairPlay, Reddy Anna and Mahadev Book.

Few other operators are also identified that were involved in money laundering. A person named Vikash Chhaparia was responsible for all hawala transactions along with his associate Govind Kedia.
ED successfully froze Rs 236.3 crore worth of security holdings owned by Vikas Chhaparia under PMLA. Kedia was also not spared, as ED also booked Kedia’s 160 crore worth of equity holdings.

Recent arrest of some high-ranked operators has led to many others involved. The ongoing extensive investigation has led authorities to issue a Red Corner Notice against Chandrakar and Uppal.

Chandrakar and Uppal run the entire illegal betting network from Dubai. Both of them started as local bookies but moved abroad and created the illegal app to operate on large scale.