Mumbai crime: Mahadev app owners have Vanuatu passports, says ED

In a jaw-dropping twist in the world of online gambling, the creators and masterminds behind the notorious Mahadev app, Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, have been unmasked as the orchestrators of an underground empire of illegal betting in India. But what sets this scandal apart from the rest? The audacious duo have resorted to an unconventional escape plan. They’ve pulled off the ultimate disappearing act by obtaining citizenship in the remote Oceania nation of Vanuatu. To make matters even more intriguing, they’ve been crisscrossing the globe using Vanuatu passports to dodge Indian law enforcement, leaving the authorities scratching their heads and a nation in shock.



The Mahadev App Scandal

The Mahadev app, once a household name in India, has now become synonymous with illicit activities. This app was, allegedly, the conduit for a sprawling network of illegal betting operations, with a shocking estimated turnover of about Rs 6000 crore, according to an exhaustive 8,887-page chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Illegal Betting Bonanza

The chargesheet unveils the jaw-dropping scale of the illegal betting operation associated with the Mahadev app. It reveals that nearly two thousand panels, each raking in Rs 30-40 per month, were operating across India. This points to the sheer vastness and profitability of the underground world of illegal betting. But that’s not all; the Mahadev app itself was purportedly pocketing a mind-boggling Rs 450 crore per month, cementing its status as an online betting juggernaut.

Vanuatu Citizenship: A Vanishing Act

The clever turn of events revealed in the chargesheet intensifies the plot. The accused pair behind the Mahadev app, Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal, have obtained citizenship in the peaceful Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. They have been able to travel the world undercover thanks to this unorthodox approach; they are traveling using Vanuatu passports in order to avoid detection by Indian law authorities. The reasons they chose Vanuatu as their escape route are yet unknown, but it begs important concerns about how well international collaboration works in situations like this.

Legal Tightrope

The chargesheet has stacked up a mountain of legal challenges for Chandrakar and Uppal, who now face a barrage of charges ranging from illegal betting to money laundering and other financial crimes. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, is at the heart of the case, and it packs a punch with its hefty penalties for those found guilty of money laundering. To complicate matters further, the chargesheet notes that the accused have applied for Australian visas without relinquishing their Indian citizenship, adding a layer of complexity to their legal status.

Manhunt Unleashed

As Indian authorities grapple with the enormity of the illegal betting operation and the audacity of the accused, a nationwide manhunt has been launched to track down Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal. Their reported use of Vanuatu passports to evade law enforcement adds an international dimension to the case, making their capture a challenging puzzle. The Indian government is expected to enlist the support of Vanuatu and other nations in pursuit of these elusive individuals.

The Companies Behind the Mahadev App

The Mahadev app scandal also casts a spotlight on the responsibilities of companies and app stores in ensuring that the apps on their platforms adhere to legal and ethical standards. It is disconcerting that the creators of the Mahadev app managed to operate a sprawling illegal betting network under the radar for an extended period. This raises concerns about how such apps can slip through the cracks and thrive within the digital ecosystem.

This incident underscores the vital importance of rigorous due diligence for app developers, especially in sectors with a high potential for misuse. App stores and hosting platforms must intensify their scrutiny of app content and functionality to prevent the dissemination of harmful or illegal content.


The Mahadev app scandal, with its allegations of illegal betting and the accused’s enigmatic choice to acquire Vanuatu citizenship, is a stark reminder of the challenges of addressing online crime and unlawful activities in the digital age. It brings into focus the responsibilities of app stores, the need for robust legal measures, and the significance of international collaboration in addressing transnational crimes. As the manhunt for Saurabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal continues, this case is likely to have repercussions that stretch beyond its immediate legal implications, shaping discussions about online crime and global citizenship. The great escape of the Mahadev app creators has left us all captivated, waiting to see how this high-stakes drama unfolds.