ED files chargesheet in online gambling case

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New Delhi, Jun 22 (IANS): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday said that it filed a chargesheet on June 3 against two persons, Hardeep Singh and Ankur Khanna before a Special Prevention of Money Laundering (PMLA) court in North Goa's Mapusa.

The special court has taken cognizance of it and issued notices to the accused.

The ED initiated a money laundering investigation on the basis of the FIR registered by the Goa police under various section of the IPC and Sections 3 & 4 of Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act, and Section 66-D of Information Technology Act, for illegal gaming activities and siphoning money through secret networks and causing a loss to the exchequer.

The ED learnt during the investigation that Hardeep Singh and Rahul Khanna were operating a union 'Mini-India' on PP Poker, an online gaming app. Under their union, it was seen that around 25 to 30 clubs were being operated by different individuals. Through these clubs, individual players were invited through WhatsApp chats for placing illegal bets through PP Poker.

"It was seen that the commissions were generated at 5 per cent to 10 per cent. The settlement of the commission and the betting amount was done illegally through hawala operators in cash or through anonymous crypto accounts with each individual player and union head by their respective club managers. Singh and Khanna had also invested Proceeds of Crime (POC) in the form of crypto accounts which were traced by us," said the ED official.

Earlier, the ED had arrested Singh and Khanna under the provisions of PMLA.

In April, searches were conducted at the residential premises of the accused and other club managers in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Goa.

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