Noida: Police arrests 16 people linked to Mahadev Book betting ring

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On Tuesday, the Gautam Budh Nagar police booked 16 persons for their suspected involvement in the Mahadev Book gambling ring that is estimated to be worth more than Rs 4000 crore and has links to Pakistan, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, and at least 11 other nations.

According to police, the suspects who were arrested on Tuesday had stolen Rs 405 crore over the previous two months while operating out of a three-storey house in sector 108.

“After a tip-off, we sent two police officers to keep a watch on the bungalow on February 4. On Monday night, a team from sector 39 police station raided the bungalow and arrested 16 people on the basis of evidence. We discovered that they were part of a gang which duped people through online betting Mahadev app,” said deputy commissioner of police, Harish Chander, according to Hindustan Times.

Chander then explained the modus operandi, saying, “Through text messages, they lured people to download the Mahadev app by claiming users could earn quick money. Users who downloaded the app were asked to pay small amounts of money to play games on it. If a user won a game, he or she would earn even more money as a reward.”

“In this way, the user would begin trusting the gaming app and start investing larger amounts of money. However, as the games were being operated by the suspects, they would cheat and not let the user win,” he further added.

The suspects would then block the users’ IDs and take all the money. “The money was transferred from a saving account to a current account. So far, we have frozen ₹1.86 crore in different bank accounts of the suspects. The entire nexus has links in Pakistan, Nepal and at least 11 other countries,” said assistant commissioner of police, Rajneesh Verma.

The mastermind behind the syndicate is Saurabh Chandrakar who lives in Dubai and has several operators in Noida. “Chandrakar’s operations in India are handled by Sachin Soni. Chandrakar used to provide bank accounts, fake Sim cards, mobile phones and laptops to suspects,” Verma added.

Two of the 16 arrested were recently trained in Dubai, according to the police. During the raid, the police seized 12 laptops, 73 smartphones, 19 cheque books, 6 passbooks, 90 ATM cards, 58 sim cards, six passports, a Creta car and a Thar Jeep along with some documents.

“The suspects were produced before a magistrate and then sent to judicial custody. Teams have been formed to nab other members of the syndicate,” an officer informed.