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Bollywood under scanner? Kapil Sharma, Huma Qureshi, Hina Khan summoned by ED after Ranbir in betting app case

The Enforcement Directorate has summoned comedian Kapil Sharma, actors Huma Qureshi and Hina Khan for questioning on different dates in connection with its money laundering probe linked to the Mahadev betting app case, officials said on Thursday.

The federal probe agency had already summoned Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor for questioning on October 6 at its regional office in Raipur. He is understood to have sought about two weeks to appear.

The three actors latest to be summoned have been asked to appear at the Raipur office of the agency on different dates, the officials said.

The agency will record their statement under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and try to understand the mode and flow of payment allegedly done to them by the app promoters.

These actors may not be accused in the case, it is understood.

They are understood to have promoted the Mahadev app and some had entertained guests at a wedding of a promoter of the app (application) that was held abroad.

After Kapoor was asked to appear, sources had said Wednesday that around 14-15 other celebrities and actors are under the ED’s scanner in the case and they will also be summoned soon, sources said.

The company promoted by Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal was being operated from Dubai. It was allegedly using the online book betting application to enrol new users, create IDs and launder money through a layered web of benami bank accounts, the agency has alleged.

The ED investigation has shown that the Mahadev Online Book App is run from a central head office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), officials said. It operates by franchising “Panel/Branches” to their known associates on a 70-30 profit ratio, the agency had said.

Large-scale hawala operations are done to siphon off the proceeds of betting to offshore accounts, it had said.

A huge expenditure in cash has also been incurred in India for advertising of betting websites to attract new users and franchise (panel) seekers, it had said.

The company promoters hail from Bhilai in Chhattisgarh and the Mahadev online book betting application is an umbrella syndicate arranging online platforms for enabling illegal betting websites.

(Published 05 October 2023, 15:00 IST)

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