Poker: ED arrests two from Bengal based on Goa police FIR

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Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Monday said it has arrested Hardeep Singh and Ankur alias Rahul Khanna, both residents of Kolkata, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 for allegedly operating “PP Poker Online Gaming App” and placing of illegal bets and gambling on the same.

The accused were produced before the Special Court, PMLA, Mapusa on 08 April 2022 and the court granted 08 days ED custody of the accused persons.

ED initiated a money-laundering investigation on the basis of an FIR registered by Goa Police under various Sections of IPC and Sections 3 & 4 of Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976 and Section 66-D of Information Technology Act, 2000 for illegal gaming activities and siphoning huge money through secret networks and thus causing loss to the Government exchequer.

An investigation by ED revealed that Hardeep Singh and Rahul Khanna, are operating 2-3 Unions namely, Checkraise, Mini-India, Russian Poker etc on PP Poker Online Gaming App.

Under each union, it is seen that around 25 to 30 clubs are being operated by different individuals. Through these clubs, individual players are invited vide WhatsApp chats for placing illegal bets through various poker gaming apps like PP Poker.

It is seen that the commissions to the tune of @ 5% to 10 % were generated by the said clubs on each table running in the said Clubs/Unions. The settlement of the commission and the betting amount is done mainly through hawala operators in cash or through cryptocurrency with each individual player and union head by their respective club managers.

ED said it had conducted searches on 06 April 2022 on the residential premises of Hardeep Singh and Rahul Khanna and other club managers/agents situated in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Goa