New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has claimed that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel received Rs 508 crore from the promoters of the Mahadev betting app, based in the UAE. The ED has recorded the statement of a cash courier named Asim Das, who confessed that he was sent from the UAE to deliver cash for the election expenses of the ruling Congress party.
The ED recovered Rs 5.39 crore in cash from Das, who claimed that these funds were intended for Chief Minister Baghel’s election expenses and were provided by the Mahadev app promoters. The ED has also discovered benami bank accounts related to the betting app, with frozen balances amounting to Rs 15.59 crore.
The ED initiated this investigation based on credible information and conducted search operations in Chhattisgarh, resulting in the recovery of Rs 5.39 crore in cash. The agency is currently probing the Mahadev betting app syndicate, which operates remotely in India with the help of their associates, mainly from Chhattisgarh. So far, the ED has arrested four individuals and seized proceeds of crime exceeding Rs 450 crore. A prosecution complaint has been filed against 14 individuals.
Recently, the ED filed its first chargesheet in the Mahadev app betting case, naming the app’s promoters Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal among the accused.
During the recent search operations, the ED received information that a significant amount of cash was being circulated in Chhattisgarh by the app’s promoters in connection with the upcoming assembly election. The agency conducted searches at Hotel Triton and another location in Bhilai and intercepted Das.
The ED has also arrested Police Constable Bheem Yadav, who had allegedly traveled to Dubai without authorization and was linked to the Mahadev app’s promoters. It is suspected that he received bribe money for senior officers and politicians in Chhattisgarh.
Both Yadav and another accused were presented before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act Special Judge in Raipur, and the ED has requested custody to corroborate their admissions and gather evidence related to money laundering. The court has granted them a week in ED custody.