ED makes ninth arrest in Chhattisgarh’s ‘Mahadev’ betting app case

Raipur, Feb 16 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday arrested Nitish Diwan under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Raipur.

Diwan — is the ninth arrested person in connection with alleged money laundering case — popularly known as ‘Mahadev’ online gaming and betting application which was unearthed in Chhattisgarh.

The ED said that the accused was arrested in Raipur and produced before a special court. After a hearing, the court sent him under ED’s custody till February 24.

“Nitish Diwan was working at the highest level of Mahadev Online Book (MOB) in the UAE. He was close to the promoters of the Mahadev app to the extent that he was sent to Zimbabwe by them to look for opportunities for setting up betting operations there,” the ED said.

The central investigating agency said that Diwan was found to be holding assets in his name, which were beneficially owned by the promoters of Mahadev Online Book.

“He was fully aware of the app’s illegal operations and was holding and operating bank accounts in UAE for routing funds,” the ED said.

It said that the probe found out that companies were set up in Diwan’s name in the UAE and these companies provided visa services to the MOB staff working in Dubai and were also being used to route illegal betting proceeds.

The ED has earlier arrested Nitin Tibrewal, a resident of Kolkata, Raipur-based Amit Agrawal, alleged cash courier Asim Das, police constable Bheem Singh Yadav, Assistant Sub-Inspector Chandrabhushan Verma, alleged “hawala” operator brothers Anil and Sunil Dammani and a man identified as Satish Chandrakar.

The ED had unearthed the scam ahead of the Assembly election in Chhattisgarh in November last year. Then the central agency had claimed that a forensic analysis and the statement of Asim Das had led to startling allegations that the ‘Mahadev’ betting app promoters had paid about Rs 508 crore to former Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, adding that these allegations were a subject matter of investigation.



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