A key accused in the Mahadev betting app case made a sensational claim in a video message, alleging that Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel encouraged him to set up his gambling business in Dubai when he approached the Congress leader for assistance with the arrest of his associates in Bhilai.
Shubham Soni, the accused, further claimed that he was forced to pay Rs 508 crore to the Chief Minister.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had stated that it recorded the testimony of a ‘cash courier’ who claimed Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel got Rs 508 crore from Mahadev app entrepreneurs residing in the UAE.
Shubham Soni said in a video message that he met with Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, which was organized by Vinod Verma, the Chief Minister’s political advisor.
Before making the charges, Soni stated that he was the proprietor of the Mahadev betting app and that he developed it in 2021, and that he had documentation to prove it.
“I launched the app in 2021, while my gambling operation in Bhilai was doing well.” It began modestly but grew in size, and we had more money. People began to take notice. When my acquaintances went into problems, I began paying Rs 10 lakh per month to Verma ji (Vinod Verma) for security,” he explained.
‘MET CHIEF MINISTER’
“Things were going well for a while, but then my friends got into more trouble.” “I met with Bhupesh Baghel and Vinod Verma, and they told me to expand my business to Dubai,” he added.
Soni stated that after relocating to Dubai, he teamed with two Bhilai residents who were in the building industry.
While his gambling operation was thriving in Dubai, he said, his friends were still being detained in Bhilai, so he returned to Chhattisgarh and met with then-Superintendent of Police Prashant Agrawal. Later, he alleged, he called Bhagel again and was told to give him Rs 508 crore.
“I did everything Prashant ji told me to do, including giving Rs 508 crore.” However, I’m still having issues. All of the specifics are in my written statement. “I need assistance to get out of this political situation and return to India,” he added at the end of the video message.
The Mahadev app case is a high-profile incident involving an online gambling platform that allowed unlawful gambling on a variety of games, including poker, card games, badminton, tennis, football, and cricket. According to the ED, the app was controlled by Dubai-based Saurabh Chandrakar, a former juice salesman, and his accomplice Ravi Uppal, both of whom are from Chhattisgarh.