In a startling turn of events, a lavish wedding held in the UAE, with a staggering price tag of ₹200 crores and entirely funded in cash, has cast a spotlight on the Mahadev Online Book app. The opulent affair, which took place in February, has now come under the scrutiny of probe agencies, raising questions about the source of funds and financial transactions associated with the event.
The wedding ceremony, which took place in Ras Al-Khaimah, was nothing short of a grand spectacle. Private jets were chartered to transport family members, while celebrities graced the event with their performances. The entire extravaganza was reportedly financed using cash transactions, a detail that promptly raised red flags with investigative authorities, including the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
“In February 2023, Sourabh Chandrakar got married at RAK, UAE, and for this marriage ceremony, the promoters of Mahadev APP spent around ₹200 Crore in Cash,” the ED stated in a press release dated September 15.
According to digital evidence examined by the ED, approximately ₹112 crores were transferred via hawala transactions to an event management firm. Additionally, hotel bookings in UAE currency amounting to ₹42 crores were reportedly paid for in cash. Subsequent searches conducted by the ED at premises associated with the event management firm revealed further evidence of hawala transactions and undisclosed cash.
The ED’s investigation has also uncovered links between the lavish wedding and the Mahadev Online Book app, an online betting platform that gained notoriety when actor Ranbir Kapoor, who had previously appeared in advertisements for the app, was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate for questioning.
The agency revealed, “It is found that many celebrities have been endorsing these betting entities and performing at their functions in return for hefty fees layered through dubious transactions, but ultimately paid from the proceeds of online betting.” Searches were also conducted at the offices of the travel agency responsible for booking tickets for the app’s promoters, their family members, and celebrities associated with the platform.
M/s Rapid Travels, run by Dheeraj Ahuja and Vishal Ahuja, was implicated in the investigations. The ED stated, “The illicit cash earnings from the betting panels were cleverly deposited by Ahuja brothers with main ticket providers, and the wallet balance was used to book domestic & international tickets.”
The probe has gone further to identify the main promoters of the Mahadev app as Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, who hail from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh, and operate from Dubai. The ED’s investigation has revealed a significant web of alleged money laundering operations, with the sudden wealth accumulation of the app’s promoters coming under scrutiny.
“Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal have created an empire for themselves in the UAE. The sudden and illegal riches are being openly flaunted by them,” the ED remarked.
The agency has alleged that large-scale hawala operations have been used to divert the proceeds of betting to offshore accounts. Additionally, substantial cash expenditures have been made in India for advertising betting websites and self-promotion, activities aimed at attracting new users and franchise seekers.
The unfolding investigation promises to shed light on the intricate financial dealings associated with the Mahadev Online Book app and the events surrounding the extravagant UAE wedding that has now placed the app’s operations squarely under the scanner of probe agencies.
Sources By Agencies