Online betting FIR By Mumbai Cops: Dabur owner Burmans named accused

| Updated: 11 November, 2023 9:39 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Fresh troubles have mounted for the embattled Burman family — that owns and promotes the Dabur Group and its products Vatika hair oil, Chywanprash & Real juices — after the Mumbai Police booked the company’s promoters and two brothers Mohit and Gaurav Burman, accusing them of being part of an illegal online betting enterprise, less than two weeks after SEBI launched investigation on the family’s investment into broking and lending firm Religare.

While Mohit Burman is the chairman of the Dabur Group, Gaurav is a director of Dabur International.

The Mumbai FIR against the Burmans has put an overall loss of Rs 15,000 crore to the state government through illegal operations of a gambling racket.

These disclosures come at a time when the Burmans of the Dabur Group have already come under the lens of Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) that is overseeing complaints of share manipulation of Religare for which the Burmans have given an open offer to invest amid accusations of ploughing back money of Punjab’s Radha Soami Beas Dera.

READ MORE: EXPLOSIVE: SEBI starts probe on Burmans of Dabur amid “Radha Soami’s monies” accusations

The Mumbai FIR has been registered following a complaint by social activist Prakash Ghanshyam Bankar against 21 individuals that includes Burman brothers.

The Mumbai FIR puts spotlight on (Khiladi Book), an online betting website and its social networking platforms.

The Mumbai FIR also identifies a person named Kumar in Dubai who controls the website and owns a $20 million property in London.

It is not clear to what extent the Burmans had the links with these accused.

According to the police, a prime accused, Saurabh Chandrakar, who is from Chhatisgarh, allegedly operates 1,200 branches of this racket across various states in India, collectively generating a daily profit of Rs. 2,40,000 and a total monthly profit of Rs. 8,60,40,00,000.

The FIR states that the website is also endorsed by an alleged gambler, Rohit Kumar Murgai. The website has multiple betting platforms, including 11xplay, 99exch, Betbhai, BJ88, CBTF, Coexch99, Cricbet99, Fairbook247, Fairexchange, Fairplay, Laserbook 247, Lotus365, WinBuzz, ReddyAnna, SportsX9, all operating under a profit-sharing arrangement.

According to the complainant, the entire betting operation is overseen by unidentified people based in Dubai who appoint panel owners.

“To become a panel owner or branch head, a person must deposit Rs 20 lakh. Branch heads oversee at least a hundred branches in their network, with funds collected by individual branches transferred to the branch heads on a weekly basis, retaining 20 per cent,” the FIR states.

“The relationships among the accused, including Mohit Burman, Gaurav Burman, and one Hareshbhai Kalabhai Choudhary, are geared towards match-fixing,” said the FIR.

The New Indian Access the FIR copy registered against the Burmans and their other associates.

Burmans, who were quick to hit back at the management of Religare over the charge of hostile take over and share manipulation  have now gone quiet ever since The New Indian exposed the accusations against them.  The New Indian  had sent Mohit Burman a list of questionnaire, who first chose to brazen out the queries on text messages and phone calls but later his PR team led by Adfactors replied to multiple accusations of financial improprieties, tax evasion, share manipulation among other charges, with a threatening mail  which The New Indian included in its last investigative story titled EXPLOSIVE: SEBI starts probe on Burmans of Dabur amid “Radha Soami’s monies” accusations.

The Mumbai Police have invoked various sections, including the Maharashtra Gambling Prevention Act and the Information Technology Act, 2000, as well as relevant sections of the IPC against the Burman brothers and others.

“On enquiry, I was shocked to learn that the Accused Saurabh Chandrakar, Ravi Uppal and his Various unknown co-operatives have 1,200 branches operating in several states of India. I was further shocked to hear that, the daily profit of each branch is collectively Rs. 2,40,000 resulting in a total monthly profit of Rs. 8,60,40,00,000,” the FIR quoting Bankar states.

“I mean an organisation making such huge profits will be liable to pay GST not only on the amount received from users/players through deposits but also on the amount earned as profit, which may be Rs 5,000 crores for a financial year. Hence, since its inception in 2019, an amount of Rs 15,000 crores could be recovered as legitimate tax by the Government of India from the accused and related parties,” Bankar has further alleged in the FIR.

The FIR also alleges the involvement of three men “Amit Sharma, Dinesh Khambat, and Chander Aggarwal as top match-fixers who also control the online betting business”.

Chander Aggarwal is claimed to have indirect involvement in a cricket team, directly linked to Mohit Burman and Gaurav Burman, who have equity in one of the teams participating in the league, the FIR states.

Ever since the FIR, the Burman family has made no comments despite phone calls to Mohit Burman.

READ MORE: SENSATIONAL: As Dabur owners eye Religare, Radha Soami chief took ₹1006 cr, company tells police

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