Comedian-actor Kapil Sharma and actors Huma Qureshi and Hina Khan have been asked to appear before the Enforcement Directorate, or ED, in connection with a case involving the Mahadev gaming app, sources said today.
The three are not accused in the case and have been asked to appear at the agency’s Raipur office on different dates, officials said.
The agency will record their statements under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and find out about the mode and flow of payment allegedly done to them by the promoters of the app.
Yesterday, actor Ranbir Kapoor, who has done several commercials promoting the app, was asked to appear before the financial probe agency on Friday.
The probe agency has claimed that he was given a large amount of money in exchange, which was from the proceeds of a crime.
The Mahadev Online Book App, at the centre of the controversy, is an umbrella syndicate arranging online platforms to enable illegal betting websites to enroll new users, create user IDs, and launder money through a layered web of benami bank accounts, the probe agency has alleged.
PROMOTERS OF GAMING APP MADE RS 200 CRORE A DAY
The black money masterminds Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal are two big names in the shady world of online betting, with their network not only in India, but also in the UAE, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Pakistan.
The two accused are residents of Chhattisgarh’s Bhilai and surprisingly, till a few years ago, Chandrakar ran a juice shop, while Uppal had a tyre shop.
With their savings, the two went to Dubai and met a sheikh and a Pakistani national, who eventually worked together to open the online betting app. Soon, Chandrakar and Uppal made a “name” for themselves in the betting world.
According to the ED, the two set up a network of around 4,000 panel operators in India for online betting. Each operator had 200 customers who placed bets.
When Chandrakar got married in the UAE this February, he allegedly spent Rs 200 crore in cash on the grand wedding. Private jets flew guests from India to the UAE.
The wedding planners, dancers, decorators, and others were paid through Hawala channels.
Fourteen Bollywood celebrities were invited to perform at the wedding. All are under the Enforcement Directorate’s radar now.
Last month, investigators seized assets worth Rs 417 crore in raids at 39 locations in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bhopal in connection with the Mahadev online betting app.