MOB case: ED searches angadiya firms that delivered ₹106 crore to a firm | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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MOB case: ED searches angadiya firms that delivered 106 crore to a firm

Sep 15, 2023 12:55 AM IST

The funds were allegedly sent to the firm via the angadiyas at the behest of the online betting platform for meeting the expenditure for overseas lavish wedding of its co-promoter Saurabh Chandrakar, who is believed to be staying in Dubai, with a girl from his native state, Chhattisgarh

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has carried out searches at the premises of eight city based angadiya entities which are accused of delivering 106 crore in cash to an event management firm from the proceeds of crime generated through allegedly illegal online betting by Mahadev Online Book (MOB).

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Angadiyas are traditional, informal couriers of cash and valuables, who operate as a parallel banking channel.

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The funds were allegedly sent to the firm via the angadiyas at the behest of the online betting platform for meeting the expenditure for overseas lavish wedding of its co-promoter Saurabh Chandrakar, who is believed to be staying in Dubai, with a girl from his native state, Chhattisgarh. Over a hundred guests had allegedly been invited to Dubai for the wedding.

MOB platform’s other promoter Ravi Uppal is also suspected to be staying in Dubai.

“Payments made to the event management firm for the overseas wedding was part of the proceeds of crime and the agency is tracking the trail of the proceeds to establish the end- recipients,” said an agency source. The searches at the angadiyas’ premises, four of them located in south Mumbai and other four in Malad, had yielded important documents.

The agency will record the statements of the concerned personnel related to the alleged transactions, sources said. The agency had earlier also searched the premises of a Malad - based event management firm as part of its probe.

Certain hawala operators from Mumbai, Nagpur and Gujarat are also under ED’s scanner for allegedly conducting monetary transactions on behalf of the MOB and are suspected of having remitted hundreds of crores of rupees generated through MOB’s countrywide illegal online betting operations abroad to its controllers / promoters.

ED’s probe has revealed that in some cases, fraudulent import bills were allegedly used to transfer funds overseas to MOB controllers and hawala channels were apparently used by the promoters to send funds to their associates in Chhattisgarh and elsewhere, the sources said.

The betting platform is suspected of having conducted illegal online betting with a gross turnover of around 5, 000 crore to 20,000 crore over the last few years. MOB’s promoters, along with their associates, are accused of running around 60 illegal offshore gambling websites, apart from the MOB app.

Nearly a dozen Bollywood personalities, suspected to have conducted monetary transactions with MOB are also under ED’s scanner. The stars were reportedly paid 40 crore by the promoters of the betting platform to attend a party at a seven-star luxury hotel in Dubai on September 18 last year. The party had been scheduled, ostensibly, to celebrate the grand success of the betting platform.

ED’s investigation for money-laundering is based on several cases of cheating registered by the police against it in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh, said sources. In August, the agency arrested four persons, including an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) and two hawala operators in Chhattisgarh.

MOB allegedly provides online modes for illegal betting in different live games, including Poker, card games, chance games and betting on cricket, badminton, tennis, football, among others. MOB also has dedicated apps allowing betting for elections held in India. Chandrakar and Uppal hail from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh and run their operations from Dubai.

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