What is the Mahadev App Scam?
The Mahadev app scam is a multi-crore fraud case that involves an online betting and gaming platform that duped thousands of people across India. The app, which promised easy money and rewards, was actually a front for illegal money laundering and bribery. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating the case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
How did the ED bust the scam?
The ED raided several premises in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, and Telangana in November 2023, just before the first phase of the assembly elections in Chhattisgarh. The agency seized cash, laptops, mobile phones, and documents related to the app. The ED also arrested two key accused, Sourabh Chandrakar and Ankit Uppal, who are said to be the main promoters of the app. They are accused of running the app through shell companies and transferring the money to foreign accounts.
Who are the other suspects in the case?
Apart from Chandrakar and Uppal, the ED also arrested a cash courier, Asim Das, and a police constable, Bhim Singh Yadav, for their alleged involvement in the scam. Das was caught with Rs 1.5 crore in cash, which he was supposed to deliver to some politicians and bureaucrats in Chhattisgarh. Yadav, who was posted at the Supela police station in Durg district, was allegedly in touch with Chandrakar and Uppal and helped them evade the law.
What action has been taken against the police constable?
The Chhattisgarh police, which had earlier suspended Yadav after his arrest, has now dismissed him from service. The order was issued by Durg Superintendent of Police Jitendra Shukla on Thursday. The dismissal is a strong message to the police force that any misconduct or corruption will not be tolerated. The ED has also attached Yadav’s properties worth Rs 1.2 crore under the PMLA.
What is the status of the investigation?
The ED is continuing its probe into the scam and has issued lookout notices for some more suspects. The agency has also announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for any information leading to the arrest of Chandrakar and Uppal, who are absconding. The ED has also sought the assistance of the Interpol and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to trace the money trail and the foreign beneficiaries of the scam.