New Delhi: In response to the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) crackdown on an illegal betting app syndicate and subsequent raids on Mahadev Book in Chhattisgarh, the Ministry of Electronics and Informa
New Delhi: In response to the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) crackdown on an illegal betting app syndicate and subsequent raids on Mahadev Book in Chhattisgarh, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has taken action, blocking 22 illegal betting apps and websites, including Mahadev Book and Reddyannaprestopro.
Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar informed that blocking orders have been issued after a request was made by the ED but no such requests were made by the Chhattisgarh government.
Section 69A of The IT Act Used
“Chhattisgarh government had all the power to recommend shutting down a website or app under Section 69A of the IT Act. However, they did not do so, and no such request has been made by the state government while they have been investigating it for the last 1.5 years. In fact, the first and only request has been received from ED, and it has been acted upon. Nothing prevented the Chhattisgarh government from making similar requests,” MoS Chandrasekhar said.
Mahadev App Case
Ministry said that the owners of Mahadev Book are currently in custody, having been arrested under Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for the commission of the offence of Money laundering under Section 3, punishable and under Section 4 of PMLA, 2002. Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said that according to fresh evidence following a search operation on November 2, it was found that regular payments have been made in the past, and so far, around Rs 508 crore has been paid by Mahadev App Promoters to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
However, CM Baghel has refuted the ED’s claim and said that the BJP wants to contest the upcoming Chhattisgarh polls with the help of its “agencies”.
According to ED, cash courier Asim Das was intercepted by the central agency, who was sent from the UAE to deliver a large amount of cash for the electioneering expenses of the ruling Congress party.
The central agency added that Das confessed that Rs 508 crore has been so far paid to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister by Mahadev App promoters, a charge that Baghel denies.
What’s The Whole Mahadev App Scandal?
The Mahadev app scandal has unveiled an extensive network of illegal online gambling activities that spanned across various games, including poker, card games, badminton, tennis, football, and cricket. The app was masterminded by Dubai-based Saurabh Chandrakar, a former juice seller turned betting kingpin, and his accomplice Ravi Uppal, both hailing from Chhattisgarh, according to the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The ED’s investigation has revealed a sophisticated operation that utilized a tiered system of “panel/branches” franchised out to known associates. This network facilitated the enrollment of new users, creation of user IDs, and the laundering of illicit funds through a labyrinthine web of Benami bank accounts. The sheer scale of the operation is staggering, with daily transactions estimated to reach an astronomical Rs 200 crore, as per a report covered by India Today.
(With inputs from agencies)