Mahadev betting app scandal deepens: Match-fixing syndicate generating crores daily via 'Khiladi' app emerges
Both Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal refute the accusations, asserting their cooperation with the Enforcement Directorate (ED). They explicitly deny any involvement in the alleged cricket match-fixing racket.
In a notable development in the Mahadev app case, individuals Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, identified by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) as pivotal figures in the betting racket, are now accused of being part of a match-fixing syndicate through a 'subsidiary app' named Mahadev Khiladi. An FIR has been filed by the Maharashtra Police in response to a local court's directives on Friday. The syndicate reportedly operates in Bitcoins and has a network that extends across various cities, including London, Kolkata, Mumbai, and parts of Chhattisgarh.
Hailing from Bhilai, Chandrakar and Uppal have relocated to Dubai, where they are reportedly managing the Mahadev Book betting network, according to the police. Lookout notices have been issued for them by the Chhattisgarh Police. Both Chandrakar and Uppal refute the accusations, asserting their cooperation with the Enforcement Directorate (ED). They explicitly deny any involvement in the alleged cricket match-fixing racket.
On November 6, the Mumbai metropolitan magistrate’s court instructed the police to launch a case based on persistent complaints from social worker Prakash Bankar, who claims a fraud amounting to Rs 15,000 crore through the app since 2019. The FIR was filed under charges of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, and the IT Act.
As per the complaint, the syndicate allegedly "manipulated" cricket matches. Out of the 32 individuals named in the complaint, at least five are identified as associates of Chandrakar, operating from different locations in the country and the Middle East to influence matches. The complaint alleges that they conduct their operations through the Khiladi App and other platforms, generating significant sums daily, which are then distributed using hawala or Bitcoin wallets.
The Maharashtra Economic Offences Wing is reportedly poised to assume control of the investigation into the 'Khiladi App', and there are indications that they may collaborate with the Chhattisgarh Police to probe the alleged links to match-fixing in the state, according to sources.
Notably, Shubham Soni, who claims ownership of the Mahadev App and has directly accused Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, is purportedly identified as one of the administrators of the Khiladi App, as per sources. In a recent social media video, Soni implicated Baghel, an individual named 'Verma,' and some police officers, triggering a political uproar in the poll-bound state.
From Dubai, Chandrakar and Uppal have released a statement rejecting the accusations leveled by Soni. They have categorically denied any connection to the betting racket, asserting that the allegations are "baseless and lack credible evidence."
Chandrakar and Uppal have identified Soni as the 'central figure' behind the Mahadev Book betting app, shedding light on his association with 'Mahadev Book Markets Limited.' They argue that they have been unfairly singled out as they expand their presence in the UAE real estate market.
In their statement, Chandrakar and Uppal assert that they are actively cooperating with the Enforcement Directorate (ED), furnishing all necessary information and documents, and showcasing their commitment to aiding the investigative process. They emphasize their engagement in legal proceedings and appeal to the media and the public not to brand them as absconders.