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Mahadev app: ED freezes assets worth Rs 580 cr of Dubai-based 'hawala-operator'

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NewsDrum Desk
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Mahadev APP Enforcement Directorate

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New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate has frozen security holdings of more than Rs 580 crore of a Dubai-based "hawala operator" and seized cash and valuables worth Rs 3.64 crore after fresh raids in the Mahadev app-linked money laundering case, official sources said on Friday.

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The latest raids were launched on February 28 at various premises in Kolkata, Gurugram, Delhi, Indore, Mumbai and Raipur.

The ED probe in the Mahadev online gaming and betting app has indicated purported involvement of various high-ranking politicians and bureaucrats from Chhattisgarh.

The sources said the agency identified a "hawala operator", Hari Shankar Tibrewal in this case. He hails from Kolkata but currently resides in Dubai. He partnered with the promoters of the Mahadev app and also owned and operated an alleged illegal betting app -- skyexchange.

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Security holdings worth Rs 580.78 crore "beneficially owned" by Tibrewal have been frozen by the ED under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said.

Cash worth Rs 1.86 crore and valuables worth Rs 1.78 crore were recovered by the agency during these searches, according to the sources.

So far, the ED has arrested nine people in this case.

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The agency had earlier said that the alleged illegal funds generated by the Mahadev app were used to pay bribes to politicians and bureaucrats in Chhattisgarh, from where the main promoters and operatives of the app hail.

So far, the ED has filed two charge sheets in this case, including against the two main promoters of the alleged illegal betting and gaming app Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal. It had conducted multiple raids in the case earlier.

The projected proceeds of crime in this case are about Rs 6,000 crore, according to the ED.

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