Bollywood, Betting, and Billionaires: The Mahadev App Saga


The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had set the stage for a high-profile showdown, summoning Bollywood’s elite, including Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, and other luminaries, to unravel the mystery behind the Mahadev betting scandal. With the Mahadev Satta App at the epicenter of the storm, the spotlight is firmly fixed on the glamorous yet shadowy world of celebrity involvement in online betting.

The Modus Operandi:

Sourabh Chandrakar, a former juice vendor, and his partner Ravi Uppal the Masterminds originating from Bhilai have been operating their illegal operation out of Dubai’s shadows for the last four years.

Headquartered in the UAE, the business has a franchising concept, with affiliates sharing revenues 70:30 ratio. In addition, Dixit Kothari was a crucial link, allegedly he acquired the domain with fake ID and managed the website, and he also had contact with bookies and punters.

The Mahadev Gaming app offers a lucrative opportunity for players to engage in live gambling. This firm, which operates secretly within closed groups on instant messaging networks, is said to generate an astounding Rs. 200 crores per day.

Revealing a web of deception with offenders tempting people with contact numbers placed on websites, particularly through platforms such as WhatsApp. Upon contact, consumers are given two different numbers—one for making deposits and accruing points and another for cashing out.

ED’s Trailblazing Investigation:

Following Chandrakar’s lavish Rs. 250 crore wedding celebration in Ras Al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, allowing travel of relatives in luxury planes from Nagpur. This extravagant celebration exposed alleged hawala operations and ties with Pakistan and the UAE, which prompted the ED to investigate. Chandrakar has created a prosperous empire in the UAE with Ravi Uppal, ostentatiously showing off his newfound fortune.

From Glitz to Grit:

  • Further Investigation revealed a web of 32 individuals including entrepreneurs Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal were engaged in a hawala ring worth Rs. 5,000 crore operating in Pakistan and UAE, with connections to Dawood Ibrahim’s network to develop a similar app for Pakistan.
  • Raids led to the seizure of assets worth Rs. 417 crores from the suspected money laundering activities of Chandrakar and associates through 70 Shell companies and offshore accounts.
  • Interpol Red Notices Targeted the masterminds, while Investigations were carried out on M/s Rapid Travels, which managed the app’s ticketing and Vikash Chhaparia, the main participant in money laundering.
  • Dixit Kothari’s arrest followed by Chandrakar and Uppal’s detention in Dubai signify a critical point in the fight against the multi-billion rupee betting scam.
  • In retaliation, 22 illicit betting applications and websites are banned by the Indian authorities.

Stars in the Spotlight:

  • Bollywood celebs, including Ranbir Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Boman Irani, Hina Khan, and Kapil Sharma, had been summoned in by the ED owing to their involvement with events thrown by Saurabh Chandrakar.
  • Indicating a wider network of involvement, the ED broadens its probe to include notable people namely, Mohit and Gaurav Burman of the Dabur Group.
  • A political quarrel emerges as the Congress and BJP level allegations about Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s purported receipt of Rs. 508 crore from Asim Das (The alleged cash courier) sent from UAE.

In a Nutshell:

The Mahadev Betting Scam serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of corruption and greed. Behind the allure of Quick money lies a dark underworld of deceit and exploitation. By illuminating this scandal, Urge is to strive to remain vigilant against the allure of quick riches and to uphold the integrity of India’s legal and regulatory framework.

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