Ravi Uppal, one of the two main owners of the Mahadev online gaming app, was reportedly detained in Dubai last week, following a red corner notice (RCN) issued by Interpol at the request of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The ED is now working to get Uppal extradited to India to face investigation in a case pertaining to alleged money laundering through the app, ED sources said. Besides Uppal, the lookout circular is against another promoter, Saurabh Chandrakar, with both accused of bribing bureaucrats and politicians of the erstwhile Bhupesh Baghel government in Chhattisgarh.

The RCN was issued after the agency filed a chargesheet against Uppal and Chandrakar before a Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Raipur in October. According to the ED, Uppal acquired a passport of Vanuatu, an island country in the Pacific Ocean, despite holding Indian citizenship.

The agency alleged in its prosecution complaint, which is equivalent to a chargesheet, that Uppal was “looking after the delivery of the liaisoning money to the bureaucrats and politicians of Chhattisgarh through Chandrabhushan Verma [an assistant sub-inspector of state police]“ and some others. The money laundered is allegedly to the tune of Rs 6,000 crore, which Uppal and others “generated and enjoyed proceeds of crime”. He was also accused of “concealment and layering” the black money.

Following the investigation, the Centre last month banned 22 illegal betting apps and websites, including Mahadev. Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar had said that the then Congress CM Baghel did not act against the promoters of the Mahadav app. It had also become an issue in the just-held Chhattisgarh polls after a key accused, Shubham Soni, charged that Baghel encouraged him to set up his gambling business in Dubai. This was after he had approached the former CM for help as his associates were facing arrest in the case.

Soni claimed in a video, which went viral during the election, that he had made payments of Rs 508 crore to the former CM. The ED said they had recorded an email statement of Soni on facilitating alleged payments to Baghel from promoters Uppal and Chandrakar in the UAE.