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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Mahadev betting app case transferred to Mumbai crime branch

The Mumbai police have transferred the First Information Report (FIR) for the alleged ₹15,000-crore gambling and cyber fraud linked to the Mahadev Book Online Betting app syndicate to the crime branch citing the extensive nature of the investigation. 

The Matunga police registered a case against 32 persons, including Mahadev betting app promoters, Dabur Group Chairman Mohit Burman and company director Gaurav Burman, under various Sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Gambling Act and the Information Technology (IT) Act, following a complaint lodged by Mumbai-based social worker, Prakash Bankar.  

“As law and order police cannot focus completely on a big case, which needs special attention, the senior officials have transferred the case to the crime branch,” an official privy to the case said. 

The complainant alleged that a large number of people had been defrauded of nearly ₹15,000 crore through the betting app since 2019 and levelled allegations of match-fixing against the accused, including the app’s promoters Saurabh Chandrakar, Ravi Uppal and Shubham Soni.

The investigators said that Mr. Mohit Burman has direct equity in one of the teams in a cricket league.

The Enforcement Directorate recently claimed that a forensic analysis and a statement made by a ‘cash courier’ Asim Das has led to ‘startling allegations’ that the Mahadev betting app promoters had paid about ₹508 crore to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. Soon, the Bharatiya Janata Party released a video of Mr. Soni saying he was the owner of the app and had ‘proof’ of payment of ₹508 crore so far to Mr. Baghel. The Central agency has already arrested four persons and seized proceeds of crime worth over ₹450 crore.

Later, the BJP released a video of Shubham Soni saying he was the owner of the app and had the “proof” of paying ₹508 crore so far to Mr. Baghel, who rejected the claim.

On November 5, the Centre issued blocking orders against 22 illegal betting platforms, including the Mahadev app, on ED’s request.

The Chhattisgarh police have registered at least 75 FIRs in connection with the app and the ED has also conducted a probe into the case.

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