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Authorities need to look into this online betting website

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Ashish Shuklahttp://ashishshukla.net/
Author of "How United States Shot Humanity", Senior Journalist, TV Presenter

An online betting website could emerge as one of the most embarrassing threat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s credibility and BJP’s relentless march towards Mission 2019.

WWW.LCEXCH.COM siphons off annually over Rs 5,000 crores from India —hold your breath—to Pakistan via Dubai and has so far escaped the radar of BJP which is determined to smash the nexus of black money, money laundering and terrorism.

The online betting shop has one Lal Chand as the contact and Bhatoro General Trading as the organization under the “Registrant Contact” available with the www.whois.net. Even a casual search on the net is good enough to show Bhatoro company dealing with food products and operating from Dubai.

The Dubai link to underworld betting mafia and Dawood Ibrahim, and thus notorious ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) of Pakistan, is an acknowledged fact with India’s police and security agencies yet this online betting shop has escaped scrutiny for at least two years now.

India’s archaic Public Gambling Act of 1867 offers a punishment no worse than Rs 200 and three months in prison. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002 was amended last month; and Payment and Settlement Act 2007 exists but the scale of betting has only ballooned to the scale of Rs 8 lakh crore annually in cricket alone.

Online betting shops have zoomed since the Patiala House court ruling in 2015 which acquitted cricketer S. Sreesanth and 35 other accused in the IPL spot-fixing case and ruled cricket betting is NOT illegal since it involves “skills” and not “chance.”

This grey area has been exploited to the hilt by betting world. All Indians need to do is to open e-wallets in Neteller or Skrill and a host of legalized betting shops would accept your bets even in Indian rupees. The Indian laws permit States to frame their own laws on gambling—and Telangana has done a great job in banning online betting altogether with the 2017 Telangana Gaming (Amended) Act—but www.lcexch.com is a different matter altogether.

For one, it’s an offline betting mafias working in the garb of legal online outlet. You don’t even need to open e-wallet accounts as the agents of www.lcexch.com are spread over every nook and corner of India who collect and disburse black money physically.

Thus, you could use your BLACK MONEY (sic) to open accounts in www.lcexch.com and place bets. The revenue generated for the website goes to Dubai via Hawala channel and from there ostensibly across the border to Pakistan where it funnels illegal and dangerous activities, such as drugs, arms and cross-border terrorism.

According to data available with www.whois.net over 71 percent users of www.lcexch.com are from India which is massive and an estimated Rs. 15 crores are traded on the website everyday – apparently illegally.

While legalizing betting in cricket is presently under review of the Supreme Court, the apex court of the land is also examining a PIL filed by retired bureaucrat Atul Kumar and eminent journalist Shantanu Guha Ray which expresses concern over illegal betting controlled by underworld mafia and fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim, further making submission that the massive transfer of funds for illegal betting is a risk to national and economic security.

All the security and regulatory exchange authorities need to do is to follow the example of Telangana and forbid the access of www.lcexch.com in India. If need be, laws must be amended to ensure this massive nefarious operation is stopped here and now.

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Ashish Shuklahttp://ashishshukla.net/
Author of "How United States Shot Humanity", Senior Journalist, TV Presenter
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