ED raids online betting firm’s premises for illegal broadcasting of IPL, seizes luxury items worth ₹8 crore

  • ED seized various incriminating documents, digital devices, cash, bank funds, Demat account holdings and luxury watches to the tune of 8 crore

Livemint
Updated13 Jun 2024, 08:11 PM IST
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches at the premises of online betting app
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches at the premises of online betting app(HT_PRINT)

Enforcement Directorate conducted raids at online betting company "Fairplay" on Thursday for illegal broadcasting of cricket/IPL matches and various online betting activities, including Lok Sabha Elections 2024 results. The federal agency seized various incriminating documents, digital devices, cash, bank funds, demat account holdings and luxury watches to the tune of 8 crore.

"ED Mumbai conducted search operations on June 12 at 19 locations in Mumbai and Pune in the case of "Fairplay", which was involved in illegal broadcasting of cricket/IPL matches and various online betting activities, including results of Lok Sabha Elections 2024. During the search operations, various incriminating documents, digital devices, Cash, Bank funds, Demat account holdings and luxury watches to the tune of Rs. 8 Crore (approx.) were seized/frozen," the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement. 

The federal agency's action came after an FIR was registered by Nodal Cyber Police, Mumbai, on the complaint of Viacom18 Media. The complaint alleged that "Fairplay" illegally broadcasted cricket tournaments like the Indian Premier League (IPL), causing a revenue loss of more than 100 crore. The FIR was registered under the sections of the IPC, Information Technology Act 2000, and Copyright Act 1957. 

"ED investigation revealed that Fairplay made agreements through foreign-based entities in Dubai and Curacao with Indian agencies representing celebrities. It was found that Indian agencies performed no due diligence regarding Fairplay before executing the agreements for its promotion," the ED statement said. 

Use of shell bank accounts

The agency also mentioned that the company collected funds through various bogus/shell bank accounts, which were layered through a complex web of bank accounts of shell entities and were then accumulated in Pharma companies involved in bogus billing. The investigation further revealed that funds from these companies had been siphoned off to overseas shell entities based out of Hong Kong SAR, China and Dubai. More than 400 bank accounts of shell entities were found to be used for these purposes, which are under examination along with trailing/utilization of funds collected from the public by Fairplay.

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First Published:13 Jun 2024, 08:11 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaED raids online betting firm’s premises for illegal broadcasting of IPL, seizes luxury items worth ₹8 crore

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