CM Baghel termed ED’s action in the Mahadev betting app case as a "political conspiracy”

Perhaps the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) in chhattisgarh has registered a case against former chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and others in the alleged Mahadev online betting scam based on a probe report submitted by the ED, officials said on Sunday. The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which has been investigating the Mahadev app-linked money laundering case for more than a year, alleged in the past that its probe has shown involvement of various high-ranking politicians and bureaucrats from chhattisgarh, where the two main promoters of the app hail from. The projected proceeds of crime in this case are about Rs 6,000 crore, according to the ED.

”The ED has been investigating the case and based on its report submitted to the state’s Economic Offences Wing/Anti-Corruption Bureau, the FIR was registered against Baghel and others at the EOW police station here on march 4,” a senior EOW official said. Baghel, the senior congress leader, along with the app promoters ravi Uppal, Saurabh Chandrakar, Shubham Soni and Anil Kumar Agrawal and 14 others have been named as accused in the FIR, he said. Some bureaucrats, police officials, officers on special duty (OSDs) and other unidentified private persons have also been made accused (without being named) in the case, he said.

The case has been registered under various indian Penal Code Sections, including 120B (criminal conspiracy), 420 (cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document), and provisions of the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018, the official said. The FIR, citing the ED’s report, stated that Mahadev Book App promoters Uppal, Chandrakar, Soni and Agrawal created the platform for live online betting and indulged in betting through Whatsapp, data-facebook and Telegram and other social media platforms. The promoters created different platforms and conducted illegal acts of online betting through panel operators/ branch operators. They kept 70 to 80 per cent of the illegal earnings with them and distributed the rest of the money to panel operators/ branch operators, it alleged.

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