Mahadev App case: Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor has been summoned by Enforcement Directorate on 6th October, in connection with Mahadev betting app case, an official said
Ranbir Kapoor. File Pic
Mahadev App case: In a significant development in the Mahdev app money laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor for his alleged involvement in promotional activities and for receiving substantial amounts from the app's promoters in the form of both cheques and cash. The exact sum received by Kapoor from the app promoters remains undisclosed. “We are investigating various aspects as we suspect that a substantial amount of money laundering has been directed towards celebrities involved in promoting the app,” said an ED officer.
Ranbir has been asked to appear before the ED on October 6 to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.
Earlier, the ED disclosed that numerous celebrities, including Tiger Shroff, Sunny Leone, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam, Neha Kakkar, Vishal Dadlani, Ali Asgar, Bharti Singh, Bhagyashree and Pulkit, attended the extravagant wedding of Mahadev app promoter Saurabh Chandrakar in Al Khaimah (RAK), UAE, earlier this year. They were allegedly compensated in cash through an event management company that the ED suspects is linked to the proceeds of the crime.
Apart from these celebrities, ED sources have indicated that some cricketers also endorsed the app and may be summoned in due course. Additionally, sources revealed that more than 100 social media influencers are under ED scrutiny.
According to the ED's investigation, the Mahdev app is hosted in Germany and operates multiple call centres in Nepal, Dubai, and Sri Lanka. Additionally, the same promoters are involved in running four more similar apps.
The main promoters of Mahadev Online Book, Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, originally from Bhilai in Chhattisgarh, operate their business from Dubai and offer franchising opportunities on a 70-30 profit-sharing basis. There are multiple cases registered against them in Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and the ED has also uncovered some political links of the accused, having recently recorded the statement of Vinod Verma, an officer on special duty for Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.
The ED has stated that large-scale hawala operations transfer betting proceeds to offshore accounts, while significant cash expenditures are made in India for advertising and self-promotion to attract new users and franchise seekers. In September, the ED conducted multiple raids at 39 locations in Mumbai, Raipur, Bhopal, and Kolkata, seizing property worth R417 crore. The ED has also revealed that in February, Chandrakar spent R200 crore on his wedding in Dubai, involving private jets, celebrity performances, and payments made through hawala channels, as indicated by digital evidence gathered by the ED. A total of Rs 112 crore cash was delivered via hawala to an event management company, and R42 crore cash was spent on hotel bookings in AEDs (United Arab Emirates Dirham), as per the ED's statement in September.