New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) ,probing the Mahadev Online Books (MOB), has found the suspected ties of its promoters with India’s most wanted and fugitive underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar’s brother Mustaqim, sources said.
According to the financial probe agency sources associated with the probe, the ED suspects that the United Arab Emirates-based Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, both promoters of MOB, had tied up with the Mustaqim to run one of its similar betting gaming apps namely ‘Kheloyar’ from Pakistan.
A source said that during the probe, it was found that the MOB runs more than 50 betting and gaming apps and sites online illegally. However, it found the links of kheloyar operating in Pakistan, with the help of fugitive don’s brother, the source said, adding that the app has the patronage of Dawood’s syndicate.
The source further revealed that Kheloyar had come under the agency’s scanner during a T-20 cricket tournament held in Sri Lanka earlier this year, which raised the agency’s eyeballs.
Dawood, the mastermind of the March 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, is suspected to have exited India in the early 1980s after his alleged criminal activities came under the scanner of police in Maharashtra. He is believed to be living in Pakistan. Mustaqim was suspected of staying in Dubai on a resident visa procured on an alleged Pakistani passport issued in 1997.
He, however, has no criminal case registered against him in India and had exited India years ago, sources said.
However, the senior officials remained tightlipped.
There are already 30 Bollywood celebs on ED scanner for allegedly receiving money in lieu of attending the wedding ceremony of Chadrakar in February this year and also attended the party in Dubai in September last year.
The ED sources have also claimed that the celebrities have also endorsed the apps of the MOB.
It is alleged that the MOB spent around Rs 200 crore on the marriage ceremony programme in Dubai with private jets hired to ferry family members from Nagpur to the UAE. The ED probe had also found that celebrities were hired to perform in the marriage. Wedding planners, dancers, decorators, etc, were hired from Mumbai and hawala channels were used to make payments in cash.
The ED said that as per the digital evidence gathered by it, Rs 112 crore was delivered via hawala to an events management company — R-1 Events Pvt Ltd of Yogesh Popat — and hotel bookings worth Rs 42 crore were done by paying in cash in AEDs. It also said that during the searches at the premises of Popat, Mithilesh and other linked organisers and evidence relating to receipt of Rs 112 crore hawala money was crystallised.
The ED has also successfully identified other major players involved in the money laundering operations of the MOB app.
The ED is probing MOB betting app which is an umbrella syndicate arranging online platforms for enabling illegal betting websites to enrol new users, create User IDs and laundering of money through a layered web of benami bank accounts.
In a statement on September 15, the financial probe agency had said that it recently conducted widespread searches against the money laundering networks linked with Mahadev APP in cities like Kolkata, Bhopal, Mumbai, etc., and retrieved large amount of incriminating evidences and has frozen or seized proceeds of crime worth Rs 417 crore.