Fadnavis announces probe into builder-underworld link in MOB case | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Fadnavis announces probe into builder-underworld link in MOB case

Dec 15, 2023 07:06 AM IST

Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis has announced a probe into the alleged nexus between builders, the Dawood gang, and Edelweiss Financial Services in relation to the funding of the gaming app Mahadev Online Book. Fadnavis has also called on Bollywood actors and cricket stars not to endorse online gaming and said that the state government will enact a law to take action against gambling platforms. Edelweiss has dismissed the allegations. The Enforcement Directorate has already registered a case and the Mumbai police have formed an SIT to probe any city links.

NAGPUR: Maharashtra deputy CM and home minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday announced a probe into the alleged nexus between builders, the Dawood gang and fund management company Edelweiss Financial Services in relation to the funding of the controversial gaming app Mahadev Online Book. He also appealed to Bollywood actors and cricket stars not to endorse online gaming and said that the state government would enact a law to take action against gambling platforms.

Nagpur:14December2023 A group photo of the existing MLAs of the 2019 Vidhan Sabha including Chief Minister Ekhnath Shinde, DCM Devendra Fadnavis was organised outside the Vidhan Bhavan premises during the Winter Session of Maharashtra State Assembly, Nagpur. Thursday. Dec 14, 2023. Photo by Sunny Shende:PM100029 (PTI)
Nagpur:14December2023 A group photo of the existing MLAs of the 2019 Vidhan Sabha including Chief Minister Ekhnath Shinde, DCM Devendra Fadnavis was organised outside the Vidhan Bhavan premises during the Winter Session of Maharashtra State Assembly, Nagpur. Thursday. Dec 14, 2023. Photo by Sunny Shende:PM100029 (PTI)

BJP MLA Ashish Shelar, through a calling-attention motion in the lower house, alleged that Amit Sharma, the second accused arrested in the Mahadev gaming app case, was the partner of a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Mustakeem. “They have invested money in Vijay Jain’s JP Infra, a Mumbai construction company to which underworld money is channelled for projects in Goregaon and Mira Road,” he said. “Sharma and Vijay Jain are doing a housing project in Goregaon, and Rashesh Shah’s Edelweiss has financed it to the tune of 1,000 crore.”

When contacted, the Edelweiss Group dismissed the allegations. “In context to the statement made by Shelar in the Assembly, we would like to place on record the facts that Edelweiss has no financial relationships with JP Infra, Mumbai (or) JP India Pvt Ltd,” it said in a statement. “It has not financed projects like JP Deck in Goregaon, nor anywhere else as alleged today. We state categorically that these claims are unfounded, baseless and seem motivated. Edelweiss has always conducted its business with the highest levels of integrity and in full compliance with all regulatory requirements.”

Shelar said that many gambling apps like Mahadev had been cheating people. “The money collected through the online transactions was used to create fake Indian documents for Bangladeshi citizens, and thousands of transactions were done through fake accounts in AU Small Finance Bank,” he said. “A case of evasion of 28 percent service tax and excise duty has also been registered.”

In reply to the allegations, Fadnavis said that the Mahadev app was an online gambling platform run by Amit Sharma, Saurav Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, and had 67 sites, including Lion Books. “It is a 80:20 partnership with apps registered in Venezuela in the US and operated from Dubai,” he said.

The deputy CM said that the Enforcement Directorate had already registered a case and the Mumbai police had formed an SIT to probe any city links. “We have information that the money earned from these gaming apps is invested in the project being implemented by developers with doubtful credentials,” he said. “The developer has links with an aide of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim. We are investigating it and the allegation of Edelweiss’ investment. There is no need for a separate FIR, as the investigation is under way and the criminal link aspect will be investigated during this.”

Independent MLA Bacchu Kadu said that the government needed to look into the endorsement of gaming portals by famous personalities. The Congress’s Prithviraj Chavan demanded that the state government approach the central government for action against such portals.

Responding to them, Fadnavis said the government would request celebrities not to promote such portals and a law would be enacted if need be. “The operators have been operating out of cyberspace by using Telegram and WhatApp as channels,” he said. “The central government has been considering stricter laws to curb these activities and to make data-sharing mandatory. We will see if the state government too can enact a law in this regard.”

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crickit, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Infographics & much more. Explore now!

Stay updated with all the Breaking News and Latest News from Mumbai. Click here for comprehensive coverage of top Cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, and more across India along with Stay informed on the latest happenings in World News.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, July 21, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On