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ED Arrests Nitish Diwan for Alleged Money Laundering

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has made a significant breakthrough in the investigation into Mahadev Online Book by arresting Nitish Diwan on February 15, 2024. Diwan’s apprehension comes under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002, highlighting the gravity of the allegations against him.

The arrest of Nitish Diwan stems from the FIRs registered by the Chhattisgarh Police, which prompted the ED to initiate its investigation. Subsequently, FIRs from other states, including Vishakhapatnam, were also incorporated into the probe, underscoring the widespread nature of the alleged illicit activities associated with the Mahadev Online Book.

Mahadev Online Book, described as an umbrella syndicate facilitating illegal betting websites, is accused of orchestrating money laundering schemes through a complex network of benami bank accounts. The ED’s investigation unveiled Diwan’s pivotal role within the organization, particularly in its operations based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Diwan’s close association with the promoters of Mahadev Online Book led him to oversee ventures in countries like Zimbabwe, indicating his deep involvement in expanding the syndicate’s illicit activities. Moreover, Diwan was found to possess assets beneficially owned by Mahadev Online Book’s promoters, with his bank accounts and companies in the UAE allegedly serving as conduits for illegal funds.

The ED’s probe revealed that movable properties worth Rs. 572.41 Crore have been seized or frozen during searches conducted under the PMLA, 2002. Additionally, two Provisional Attachment Orders have been issued, attaching movable and immovable properties valued at Rs. 142.86 Crore. Prosecution Complaints filed in October 2023 and January 2024 further underscore the seriousness of the allegations.

Nitish Diwan’s arrest marks a significant milestone in the ongoing investigation into Mahadev Online Book, with a total of nine individuals now in custody in connection with the case. As the legal proceedings unfold, the enforcement agencies remain steadfast in their efforts to uncover and prosecute those involved in money laundering and other illicit activities.

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