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Police custody extended for alleged mastermind Dixit Kothari in Mahadev betting app scandal linked to ‘Lotus Book 08’

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In the Mahadev app case, the court has granted an extension of police custody for Dixit Kothari, the 27-year-old accused, until January 15. Kothari, arrested for his involvement in the scandal, has been identified as the primary operator behind the betting application “Lotus book 08.” The Mumbai crime branch’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) presented Kothari in the Girgaon court on Thursday, emphasizing his crucial role in the illicit operation.

During the court proceedings, law enforcement informed the court that Kothari allegedly created multiple IDs for bookies using the Mahadev app. The police asked for the extension of his custody, asserting that Kothari’s activities continued despite the ongoing investigation, which commenced in 2021.

Kothari’s involvement in the Mahadev betting app scandal takes a significant turn as investigators discovered that he allegedly seized control of the app’s website domain using his email address. Moreover, it was revealed that he paid Rs 20 lakh for the maintenance charges over the last two years, solidifying his connection to the illicit operation.

As reported by The Free Press Journal, the investigation led by the SIT uncovered a disturbing aspect of the case—Kothari’s exploitation of a legal loophole to provide betting services in India. Despite the ban on betting within the country, Kothari registered the website on a foreign domain, evading legal constraints.

The origins of the case trace back to November of the previous year when the Matunga police, following a court order, registered an FIR in the Rs 15,000 crore scam associated with the Mahadev app. Subsequently, the investigation was transferred to the crime branch, leading to the formation of the SIT to delve deeper into the complexities of the scandal. The ongoing probe aims to bring to light the full extent of Kothari’s involvement and the overall impact of the Mahadev app case on the gaming and betting landscape in India.

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