The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has revealed in its chargesheet that comedian-turned-actor Kapil Sharma was approached by a celebrity coordinator named Abhijit Choudhary to perform at an event organized by Saurabh Chandrakar, the founder of the Mahadev App. Sharma’s event management company was paid for the performance by M/s Muskan Events.
ED chargesheet reveals Kapil Sharma was approached by celebrity coordinator for Mahadev App
Choudhary is engaged in the business of live events and artist coordination and is among the 103 people whose statement was recorded by the ED. In his statement, he said that the celebrities were approached in the name of M/s Muskan Events Management, Dubai, to perform at the event of Mahadev Book.
The ED has charged Chandrakar and Uppal with orchestrating a scam valued at approximately Rs 6,000 crore through their panel operators. Managers were hired by the Mahadev app headquarters in the UAE to collect payments from panel operators and forward the same to promoters of the Mahadev Online Book. These managers earned a commission of 2.5 per cent for collecting such payments and forwarding the same to the headquarters-directed bank accounts.
The ED investigation has revealed that money arising out of bank accounts of parties who would work with the Mahadev app was routed through illegally obtained bank accounts via multiple layers before it was finally remitted outside India. Thousands of ‘benami’ bank accounts are involved in the fraud and are being analyzed by the ED.
The headquarters, which was based out of UAE, would provide OTPs to the panels for operating WhatsApp and Telegram and kept the SIM card with them. If a panel operator was caught, the headquarters staff would log out from WhatsApp, preventing data recovery from the operator’s mobile phone, thereby successfully evading the law. Without a SIM card, it becomes nearly impossible for agencies to retrieve data from WhatsApp or Telegram.
The chargesheet also mentions that the panel operators were members of a private WhatsApp group known as ‘HQ Account’. Within this group, panel operators exchanged Hawala note numbers and details concerning Hawala operators.
The ED is continuing its investigation into the Mahadev App case and has not yet ruled out the possibility of further summons to celebrities and other individuals involved in the scam.
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