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Shocking! ED claims Bhupesh Baghel got Rs 508 crore from Mahadev App promoters

A courier who was apprehended with more than Rs 5 crore in cash has reportedly informed the agency that the promoters of the Mahadev betting app have disbursed payments amounting to Rs 508 crore to Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel. The disclosure has emerged shortly before the initial phase of the elections in Chhattisgarh.

Shocking ED claims Bhupesh Baghel got Rs 508 crore from Mahadev App promoters
Author
First Published Nov 3, 2023, 8:01 PM IST

The Enforcement Directorate has made a startling allegation, asserting that a courier who was apprehended with more than Rs 5 crore in cash has reportedly informed the agency that the promoters of the Mahadev betting app have disbursed payments amounting to Rs 508 crore to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. The disclosure has emerged shortly before the initial phase of the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh.

The agency said in a social media post, "ED has conducted search operations on 2/11/2023 against the money laundering networks linked with Mahadev Book Online Betting APP in Chhatishgarh in which Cash of Rs. 5.39 Crore and Bank balance Rs. 15.59 Crore has been intercepted and frozen/ seized."

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had previously announced that it confiscated assets totaling Rs 14.92 crore, which included Rs 4.92 crore in cash, in the cities of Raipur and Bhilai. Verifying the conducted raids and the seized assets, the agency alleged that the cash was intended for the financial needs of a political party during the elections.

When contacted, an ED official stated, "In response to intelligence input suggesting a substantial amount of cash being transported in Chhattisgarh by the promoters of the Mahadev app in connection with the Assembly Elections, a search operation has been ongoing since Thursday afternoon."

"The ED intercepted a human courier dispatched by the Mahadev app from the United Arab Emirates, specifically for the delivery of significant sums of cash to a political party for election expenditures," the official added.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had expressed suspicions that two central agencies, the CRPF and ED, might be deployed by the BJP in the state to influence voters.

The Mahadev app maintained a variety of websites to facilitate illegal gambling and betting. Although the app commenced operations in 2017, it gained popularity in 2020 during the pandemic. According to ED sources, the app's promoters in Dubai may have accumulated as much as Rs 5,000 crore.

Sourabh Chandrakar, aged 28, and Ravi Uppal, aged 43, both hailing from Bhilai, are the primary promoters of Mahadev Online Book and are conducting their operations from Dubai.

On Thursday, ED officials reported the apprehension of a suspect in a hotel in Raipur and the seizure of Rs 3.12 crore in cash from his vehicle. An additional Rs 1.8 crore in cash was discovered at his hideout in Bhilai.

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