The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Mumbai Crime Branch has secured its first arrest in connection with the ₹15,000 crore Mahadev betting app case, police said on Friday. As per police, a 27-year-old man, identified as Dixit Kothari, has been arrested in the matter.

As per officials, an FIR was filed by Matunga Police last year, and the case was transferred to the crime branch, leading to the formation of the SIT. The Mahadev Online Book Betting app is learned to be an umbrella syndicate arranging online platforms for enabling illegal betting websites to enrol new users, create user IDs and launder money through a layered web of Benami bank accounts.

The Directorate of Enforcement is probing the matter under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Meanwhile, authorities in Dubai last month "restricted the movements" of Saurabh Chandrakar, one of the two Mahadev online betting app promoters.

Chandrakar is believed to be the mastermind of a betting syndicate. This move comes nearly two weeks after the other promoter of the Mahadev App, Ravi Uppal, was detained in Dubai by the local police. Uppal is facing a money laundering case being probed by the Enforcement Directorate.

He is named as accused in the case in which allegations of kickbacks were made against outgoing Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. As per officials, Dubai Police detained Uppal following a Red Corner notice issued against him at the behest of the Enforcement Directorate.

Sources said that Dubai authorities conveyed to Indian officials soon after the arrest of Uppal and showed their willingness to deport him as he is wanted in India for his alleged involvement in money laundering worth nearly ₹6,000 crore. Red Corner notices were issued against Uppal and Chandrakar, the other promoter and mastermind of the illegal betting syndicate, who is also in the UAE, in October this year.

A Red Corner notice was issued against both the accused after the Enforcement Directorate had moved a special court in Raipur and obtained a non-bailable warrant against them. After the arrest of Uppal, it was then learned that Chandrakar may be arrested soon.

The development comes months after a lavish wedding held this February in the United Arab Emirates caught the attention of the Enforcement Directorate, as the entire money--around ₹200 crore spent on the bash--was paid entirely in cash. At his wedding held in Ras AlKhaimah, Chandrakar hired private jets to ferry family members from Nagpur to the UAE and paid celebrities from the film industry to perform, according to the ED.

The ED said Chandrakar and Uppal, who hail from Bhilai in Chattisgarh, are the two main promoters of the Mahadev betting platform and run their operations from Dubai. They had created an empire for themselves in that country.

The agency had recently conducted searches at 39 locations across Raipur, Bhopal, Mumbai and Kolkata and seized illegal assets worth ₹417 crore. ED has also earnestly taken up investigation abroad. A Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) special court at Raipur has also issued non-bailable warrants against the suspects.