The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has taken decisive action by issuing blocking orders against 22 illegal betting apps and websites, which include well-known platforms like Mahadev Book and Reddyannaprestopro. This stern move comes as a result of extensive investigations conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into the activities of an illicit betting app syndicate. The ED’s inquiry led to subsequent raids on Mahadev Book, located in Chhattisgarh, which unveiled the app’s illicit operations.
Two individuals, Bhim Singh Yadav, who is employed as a Constable in the Chhattisgarh Police force, and Asim Das, have been taken into custody. They face charges under Section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for their involvement in money laundering offences, as defined under Section 3 and punishable under Section 4 of the PMLA, 2002. Shedding light on this development, Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, and Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, emphasized the Chhattisgarh Government’s authority to recommend the closure of websites and apps under Section 69A of the IT Act.
However, he highlighted that the state government had not exercised this power despite conducting investigations for the past 1.5 years. Significantly, the sole request received to take action against these illegal platforms came from the Enforcement Directorate, which MeitY promptly acted upon. This has raised questions about the Chhattisgarh Government’s decision not to make similar requests in the past, despite the evidence uncovered during their investigations.