ED broils Hyderabad casino organizers over FEMA violations


Hyderabad, Aug. 1 (SocialNews.XYZ) Casino organizer Chikoti Praveen Kumar and his assistant Madhava Reddy appeared Monday before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with the alleged violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

Praveen and Madhava Reddy reached the ED regional office here in Basheerbagh in response to the communications sent to them last week.

The ED officials reportedly questioned them about the financial transactions involving players being brought to Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and other countries for casinos. The agency is also looking into the organizers’ alleged dealings with some celebrities and politicians.

ED officials also questioned tour operator Sampat, who allegedly helped Praveen and Reddy arrange air travel for the bettors from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The agency focuses on alleged hawala transactions by Praveen and his associates. They allegedly used hawala routes to make payments received from players, procure money for gambling and also bring back their winnings from abroad.

The agency has reportedly identified four hawala operators who are also being questioned by officials.

Last week, the ED searched houses, farmhouses and other places owned by Praveen and Madhav Reddy in both states of Telugu. The ED reportedly found evidence of Praveen’s dealings with some Tollywood and Bollywood actors and also some politicians.

Praveen allegedly brought 10 celebrities to Nepal. He also shot celebrity promotional videos for Big Daddy’s “All In” Casino Vegas at Hotel Mechi Crown Jhapa in Nepal.

Casino organizers reportedly arranged special flights to bring players to Nepal in June. For the four-day package, each player was charged Rs 3-5 lakh for airfare, hotel stay, food and entertainment.

The central office confiscated a laptop and mobile phones from the suspect.

They are suspected of facilitating the transfer of casino stakes through hawala channels, which cost hundreds of thousands of rupees.

Praveen had denied the allegations. He claimed never to have been involved in illegal activities. In response to the ED notices, Praveen said ED officials had requested certain clarifications. “I’ll answer your questions,” he had said.

Praveen and Reddy are also said to have been involved in organizing the casino in the town of Gudivada in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh in January. The casino during the Sankranti festival in January this year caused a lot of controversy.

Known as “PC” in gambling circles, Chikoti is known for his extravagant lifestyle. He showcases this lifestyle on social media handles. He posted a video of him taking a ride in his Range Rover car with his favorite pet, Python.

During the raid on Praveen’s farmhouse, the ED reportedly recovered dozens of exotic animals.

A forest ministry official said they would sue the owner of the farmhouse for keeping wildlife.

Source: IANS

ED broils Hyderabad casino organizers over FEMA violations

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