Bhupesh Baghel in More Trouble? ED Gets Notarised Statement of Mahadev Scam Accused | Exclusive – News18

The statement has extensive details, dates, circumstances and names of senior politicians and bureaucrats, including Baghel and his son Chaitanya. (PTI/File)

Mahadev betting app scam: The 11-page statement of Subham Soni was received by the Enforcement Directorate through the Indian High Commission in Dubai. It is now legally admissible evidence

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has received a notarised copy of an 11-page statement from Subham Soni, one of the prime accused in the Mahadev online betting app case that originated from Chhattisgarh.

Soni, who is allegedly one of the promoters of the betting app, is currently in Dubai. The statement reached the ED last month through the Indian High Commission in Dubai, News18 has learnt from top sources in the directorate.

Soni, in a video statement, had earlier accused the state’s outgoing chief minister Bhupesh Baghel of taking protection money from him to run the business — the same was released by the BJP days before the first phase election in the state. The BJP used the figure cited in that video — Rs 508 crore — to target Baghel in the election campaign.

But the case has now taken a more significant turn as Soni has made his statement legally admissible by sending a notarised statement, duly attested by the High Commission to the directorate. This could mean mounting trouble for Bhupesh Baghel.

The notarised copy is now a legally valid submission under Section 50 of the PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) and will be a part of the chargesheet, a senior ED officer told News18. The same could be filed in early January in connection with the case, the officer said.

“After his submission and post the raids and seizures, we have got some crucial forensic evidence. The evidence corroborates his claims. We may summon some more senior politicians and bureaucrats named in the statement soon,” added the officer.

>More Exhaustive Than the Video

News18 has also learnt that the 11-page submission is more exhaustive than the video statement released before Chhattisgarh elections 2023. The statement has extensive details, dates, circumstances and names of senior politicians and bureaucrats, including Baghel and his son Chaitanya. Soni has made serious allegations against the Congress party and its leaders and alleged that ‘protection money’ was sent to Baghel and the Congress party in Karnataka through hawala operators. With the series of actions, including raids and other important incidents following the investigations, Baghel seems to be in for more trouble.

In an earlier interaction with Baghel, News18 had sought his response to the allegations by the PM and HM and to the raids by the ED. Calling ED ‘selective’, Baghel said that the “central agency never raids a BJP politician, even though there are several complaints against ex-chief minister Raman Singh and his family”.

ED Probe Gathers Steam

The Mahadev online betting app scam has an all-encompassing magnitude. As the investigation net by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) widened, a host of influential and powerful people, including senior politicians, bureaucrats, celebrities, and businessmen, got entangled in it.

As the probe into the Mahadev betting app progresses, the investigators have got their hands on a bunch of crucial data, evidence, and details that can blow the lid off a possible financial conspiracy against the country, said ED sources.

With the details unfolding, it turns out that the promoters of the online betting app, apart from defrauding people, have been laundering money to other countries, all through a large racket of hawala operators and over 70 shell companies.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing election rallies in Chhattisgarh before the elections, had mentioned how the betting platform defrauded people and how the state unit of Congress and Baghel protected them in exchange for huge money. Union Home Minister Amit Shah blamed Baghel as the “ATM of Congress” for sending the money allegedly earned from “corrupt practices” to other state units of Congress.