On Sunday, 6th November, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) announced the issuance of blocking orders for 22 “unlawful betting apps and websites,” which includes Mahadev Book Online and Reddyannaprestopro, in response to a request from the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The Union government explained that “these actions were prompted by ED’s investigations into an illegal betting app syndicate, which led to raids on Mahadev Book in Chhattisgarh, exposing the app’s illegal activities.”
A constable in the Chhattisgarh Police Station, Bhim Singh Yadav, and an individual named Asim Das, are currently in custody on charges related to alleged money laundering, was arrested as per the Prevention of Money Laundering Act under Section 19.
Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, criticized the “Chhattisgarh government for not taking action against the app, citing their authority under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act”. Chandrasekhar stated that despite 1.5 years of investigation, the State government did not request the shutdown of the website or app.
On Friday, the ED initiated search operations targeting money laundering networks associated with the alleged Mahadev Book Online Betting app. These operations resulted in the seizure of ₹5.39 crore in cash and the discovery of a bank balance totaling ₹15.59 crore.
The Enforcement Directorate is investigating allegations that the promoters of the Mahadev app facilitated a payment of Rs.508 crore rupees to a politician referred to as ‘Baghel,’ seemingly alluding to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. The State is preparing for its upcoming Assembly election this month, with the first round of polling scheduled for Tuesday.