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Business News/ News / Trends/  Mahavir Betting App Scam: Who is Sahil Khan arrested by Mumbai cyber cell? How is he related to the case?

Mahavir Betting App Scam: Who is Sahil Khan arrested by Mumbai cyber cell? How is he related to the case?

Police have arrested actor Sahil Khan for his role in the Mahadev betting app scam. The scam involved illegal online betting on sports and card games, with transactions estimated at ₹15,000 crore. Several individuals, including former Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel, have been named as suspects.

File image: Actor Sahil Khan at the Mumbai Police Headquarters (Hindustan Times)Premium
File image: Actor Sahil Khan at the Mumbai Police Headquarters (Hindustan Times)

Mumbai police cyber cell's Special Investigation Team (SIT) on April 27 arrested Sahil Khan from Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh in connection with the Mahadev betting app scam case.

The Bollywood actor and fitness coach's arrest came after the Bombay High Court rejected his pre-arrest bail plea.

So, who is Sahil Khan?

Known for his roles in Bollywood movies such as Style and Excuse Me, Khan initially gained fame through a musical video of Stereo Nation's Nachange Sari Raat.

The 47-year-old later transitioned into a fitness expert, winning awards from various Mumbai-based organisations for his fitness awareness efforts, as per a Hindustan Times report.

He married actress Negar Khan in 2003 and the couple subsequently divorced in 2005. Khan's recent social media posts with girlfriend Milena, refer to her as his 'wife'. He later disclosed that he had officially tied the knot after getting engaged in Russia.

How is Sahil Khan connected to the Mahavir App Betting Scam?

Social activist Prakash Bankar lodged an FIR against Khan and several other accused for their involvement and endorsement of in online betting applications in November 2023, the HT report said.

Bankar's initial complaint alleged the existence of multiple web portals facilitating online betting and gambling on sports such as cricket, football, tennis, and card games such as teen Patti, it added. It also included apps on social media platforms, such as Khan-associated Khiladi Book, a subsidiary of the Mahadev app.

It was alleged that the accused leveraged social media platforms to lure potential players into investing and registering on the portal.

Mahavir App Betting Scam: SIT, CBI & ED Investigations On

The SIT is currently probing alleged unlawful transactions between specific financial and real estate firms and backers of the controversial Mahadev betting app. As per the FIR, the scam is estimated at around 15,000 crore.

An inquiry is ongoing involving Khan and 31 others. Authorities are examining their bank accounts, mobile phones, laptops, and other technical devices.

Recent developments show that the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) / Economic Offence Wing (EOW) in Chhattisgarh apprehended two individuals linked to the purported unlawful activities of the Mahadev online gaming and betting application. Additionally, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has detained nine individuals as part of its separate investigation.

In the FIR, former Chhatisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, and app promoters Ravi Uppal, Saurabh Chandrakar, Shubham Soni, Anil Kumar Agrawal, and 14 others have been named as suspects. The FIR outlines that these accused facilitated live betting and gambling via WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, and other social media platforms.

The promoters set up various platforms and conducted unlawful online betting activities through panel operators/branch operators. They retained 70-80 percent of the illegal proceeds and distributed the remainder to panel operators/branch operators.

The FIR also mentions that the promoters and panel operators collectively earned around 450 crore per month through the online betting app following the imposition of lockdown measures in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Illegal funds were transferred by panel operators to the app promoters in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through multiple bank accounts.

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Published: 28 Apr 2024, 02:30 PM IST
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