Actor Ranbir Kapoor summoned by ED in Mahadev online betting app case
Kapoor has received payments for carrying out promotional activities for the platform, which has allegedly conducted large-scale hawala operations.
Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor on Wednesday summoned by Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Mahadev online betting app case. He was directed to present in front of the probe agency on October 10.
Kapoor has been a social media influencer for the online betting platform and has reportedly received payments for carrying out promotional activities for the app.
Several top-notch celebrities including Bollywood actors, singers and comedians, are under the scanner of the probe agency for participating in the lavish wedding of Sourabh Chandrakar, the co-promoter of the online betting app, in Dubai. Agency sources said some of the celebrities are likely to be summoned as witnesses in the money laundering case against the platform.
What is the Mahadev online betting app case?
The central investigating agency carried out searches in several cities including Kolkata, Bhopal, Mumbai in relation to the alleged money laundering networks connected with the Mahadev Online Book App, a betting platform headquartered in the UAE.
According to the case, large scale hawala operations are allegedly being done using the platform to siphon off proceeds of betting to off-shore accounts.
“Chandrakar and MOB platform’s other promoter Ravi Uppal have created an empire for themselves in the UAE. The sudden and illegal riches are being openly flaunted by them,” ED sources said.
The promoter of the platform allegedly spent ₹200 crore on the wedding and the agency is trying to trace the money trail to establish the end-beneficiaries, according to sources.
Hefty fees paid to celebrities through dubious transactions
According to the investigation, celebrities who performed in the wedding were paid a hefty sum of fees through dubious transactions. 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 scheduled for September 18 this year.
“Private jets were hired to ferry family members of the wedding party from Nagpur to UAE, celebrities were hired to perform in the marriage and wedding planners, dancers, decorators, etc, were hired from Mumbai and hawala channels were used to make the payments in cash,” the sources said.
ED seized assets worth ₹417 crore
In recent searches related to the money laundering activities by the platform, ED froze or seized assets worth ₹417 crore. Kolkata-based Vikash Chhaparia was responsible for handling all the hawala-related operations for the betting platform. He was investing heavily in India's stock market using the foreign portfolio investment route with the help of his associates Govind Kedia.
Cash derivative and other security holdings worth ₹236.3 crore in the name of entities beneficially owned by Chhaparia have been frozen by ED. Kedia's ₹160 crore worth of assets in DEMAT holdings have also been frozen.
With inputs from Abhishek Sharan