Updated March 17th, 2024 at 17:13 IST

FIR Filed Against Ex-Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and Others in Mahadev Betting App Case

The case has been registered under sections 120B, 34, 406, 420, 467, 468, and 471 of IPC, news agency ANI stated citing sources.

Reported by: Digital Desk
FIR Filed Against Bhupesh Baghel in Mahadev Betting App | Image:PTI
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Raipur: The Chhattisgarh Police have registered a case against former Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, as a suspect in the Mahadev Online Book app scandal, valued at Rs 6,000 crore.

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Raipur has registered an FIR against the former Chhattisgarh CM and others in the Mahadev App case on March 4. The case has been registered under Sections 120B, 34, 406, 420, 467, 468, and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), news agency ANI stated citing sources.

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Furthermore, as per media reports, Baghel is already facing multiple allegations under multiple sections of the IPC, including cheating, criminal conspiracy, breach of trust and forgery.

Reports also suggested that the cases have been filed following two references sent by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to the state police. These references were sent on January 8th and 30th of this year.

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The findings by the probe agency suggest high-level participation of state government officials in facilitating the illegal activities of Mahadev, allegedly in exchange for "protection money."

Earlier, an investigation by the ED into the Mahadev betting app case revealed that several dummy accounts and fake bank entities were being used to invest nearly Rs1,100 crore in the stock market.

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Till the investigation is completed, the probe agency will keep these shares frozen.

FIR copy against Bhupesh Baghel exclusively accessed by Republic 

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As per the documents attached by the ED, it was found that the promoters of the Mahadev Book App Ravi Uppal, Shubham Soni, Saurabh Chandrakar, and Anil Kumar Aggarwal were participating in various live games. As an alternative to offline betting, online platforms were created and betting started being offered through various websites through mediums like WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram etc. These promoters prepared various platforms for online betting and conducted the criminal act of online betting through panel operators/branch operators. About 70 to 80% of this illegal earning was kept for themselves and the remaining amount was provided to the panel operators. By operating the online betting app, promoters and panel operators associated with the online betting app, checkers and their associates have been earning illegal income of about Rs 450 crore monthly by providing online betting since the lockdown in the year 2020.

More Details on the FIR

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By the promoters and panel operators of the Mahadev Book App, bank accounts were opened based on fake documents for the transaction of this illegally earned income and hundreds of bank accounts were operated based on commission by taking the amount received from speculation. The promoters of the Mahadev Book App have been transferred by panel operators to UAE through illegal betting money through various bank accounts.

A huge amount of cash was spent by the promoters of the Mahadev Book App on the advertisement of betting websites for the promotion of online betting with the illegal money received from online betting. For this, annual star-studded events were also organised, in which the celebrities involved were allegedly paid from illegal money obtained from betting.

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According to the information, a case was registered against Baghel after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) sent two reports to the state police on January 8 and 30 this year. In fact, the ED report reveals the involvement of top-level officials of the state government in allowing illegal activities of the Mahadev app in exchange for the protection of funds.

It is noteworthy that, in November last year, the Financial Crimes Investigation Agency alleged that Chandrakar and Uppal had given a bribe of ₹508 crore to Baghel. Currently, both are in custody under the supervision of the UAE. A request for his extradition has already been sent to the UAE through the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

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(With inputs from Simran Babbar)

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Published March 17th, 2024 at 14:02 IST