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Disney’s live-action Aladdin finally finds its stars

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Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of eIndia.com. Now managing editor of Headline.ae, part of MEMc (https://www.memc.co)

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Boney Kapoor reaches Jamnagar to attend three-day pre-wedding festivities of Anant Ambani, Radhika Merchant

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Jamnagar (Gujarat) [India], March 1 (ANI): Film producer Boney Kapoor arrived in Jamnagar for the three-day pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant.

The ace producer looked happy as he posed for the camera. He was spotted wearing casual attire, including a grey-hued T-shirt, pyjama and a cap. He also removed the cap for the photo session.

Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son, Anant, is set to tie the knot with industrialist Viren Merchant’s daughter, Radhika Merchant.

A number of celebrities are reaching out to attend pre-wedding festivities. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, along with his wife Gauri Khan, son Aaryan and daughter Suhana Khan, arrived in Jamnagar.

Film director Ayan Mukerji was also spotted. Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh arrived in Jamnagar on Thursday. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg also reached the city for the three-day pre-wedding celebrations.

Zuckerberg arrived along with his wife, Priscilla Chan and the couple received a warm welcome at the airport with white garlands and a traditional dance performance.

Pop sensation Rihanna, and American singer and songwriter J Brown also arrived in Jamnagar for the three-day pre-wedding celebrations.

Apart from J Brown, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, and bassist Adam Blackstone has also reached Jamnagar.

On Wednesday, the Ambani family organised ‘anna seva’ to seek the blessings of the local community for the pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant. After the meal, the attendees enjoyed traditional folk music. Famous Gujarati singer Kirtidan Gadhvi stole the show with his singing.

At Jogwad village near Reliance Township in Jamnagar, Mukesh Ambani, Anant Ambani and other members of the Ambani family, including Radhika Merchant, served traditional Gujarati food to the villagers. Radhika’s maternal grandmother and parents–Viren and Shaila Merchant–also took part in the ‘anna seva’.

Talking about Kapoor, he has been a quite successful producer in Bollywood who has worked on films like ‘Mr. India’, ‘Mom’, ‘Wanted’, ‘No Entry’, among many more. (ANI)

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Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar arrive in Jamnagar for Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant pre-wedding celebrations

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Jamnagar (Gujarat) [India], March 1 (ANI): Actors Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar on Friday arrived in Jamnagar, Gujarat for the three-day pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant.

Mr Perfectionist was seen posing before the lensmen at the airport.

The ‘Dhoom 3’ actor wore a white jacket paired with red baggy hippie harem pants. He completed his look with a black cap.

Akshay, on the other hand, kept it casual as he wore a black t-shirt paired with black pants.

Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s youngest son, Anant, is set to tie the knot with industrialist Viren Merchant’s daughter, Radhika Merchant.

Who’s who from different fields has arrived to attend the lavish celebrations. Eminent personalities like Ivanka Trump, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni, his wife Sakshi Dhoni, superstar Shah Rukh Khan, among others, graced the mega event.

Founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani spoke about the pre-wedding function of her son, Anant Ambani, with Radhika Merchant.

She shared the relevance of art and culture and how she is “passionate” about it, saying, “Throughout my life I have been inspired by arts and culture. It has deeply moved me and I am very passionate about it.”While talking about her son’s wedding she mentioned, “When it came to my youngest son Anant’s wedding with Radhika, I had two important wishes – first, I wanted to celebrate our roots…Jamnagar holds special place in our hearts and has a profound significance. Gujarat is where we come from, it’s where Mukesh and his father built the refinery and I started my career by converting this arid and desert like area into a lush green township and a vibrant community.”The guest list also includes former Prime Minister of Sweden Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, President of Google Donald Harrison, former President of Bolivia, Jorge Quiroga, former Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd and Chairperson of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab.CEO and MD ADNOC Dr Sultan Al Jaber, CEO bp Murray Auchincloss, Chairman and Founder Colony Capital Thomas Barrack, CEO JC2 Ventures John Chambers, Former CEO bp Bob Dudley, President of Global Development at BMGF Christopher Elias, Executive Chairman at Exor John Elkann, and CEO of Endeavor Ari Emanuel are also expected to be in Jamnagar. (ANI)

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ED freezes Rs 580.78 crore in Mahadev Online Book case; says its operations are being run from Dubai

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): The Enforcement Directorate has seized Rs 580.78 crore in assets related to the Mahadev Online Book Betting app case, asserting that its activities are being operated from Dubai.

The ED’s action occurred as the agency conducted raids at 15 locations targeting individuals suspected of involvement in money laundering networks associated with Mahadev Online Book in Kolkata, Gurugram, Delhi, Indore, Mumbai, and Raipur.

During the operation, the ED said it retrieved cash worth Rs 1.86 crore, valuables worth Rs 1.78 crore and also frozen and identified proceeds of crime worth Rs 580.78 crore. The searches also resulted in the seizure of a large amount of incriminating evidence, including digital data and the identification of assets.

The agency is investigating a case against “Mahadev Online Book”, which is 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 ED initiated an investigation on the basis of First Information Reports (FIRs) registered by Chhattisgarh Police. Subsequently, other FIRs registered by Visakhapatnam Police and other states were also taken on record.

An ED investigation into the matter has revealed that “the operations of Mahadev Online Book are being run from Dubai and it operates by franchising ‘panel and branches’ to their known associates on a 70 per cent to 30 per cent profit ratio.””The main promoters of Mahadev Online Book are also partners and promoters in multiple such online betting books like ‘Reddy Anna’ and ‘Fairplay’. Large-scale hawala operations are done to syphon off the proceeds of betting proceeds to off-shore accounts,” said the agency.

In the course of further investigation, the ED successfully identified other major players involved with the promoters of Mahadev Online Book.

“It was found that one Hari Shankar Tibrewal, who hails from Kolkata but is currently residing in Dubai, is a huge hawala operator and has partnered with the promoters of Mahadev Online Book. ED conducted searches at his known premises and at the premises of his associates. The searches revealed that Hari Shankar Tibrewal owned and operated one of the illegal betting websites, such as SkyExchange.

“He, through his Dubai-based entities, was investing the betting proceeds in the Indian Stock market by way of the Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) route. He had also employed many of his associates as Director in various companies which were involved in layering of the betting proceeds by investing them in the stock market. He was also involved in large-scale hawala movement of the betting funds,” said the ED.

Accordingly, security holdings worth Rs 580.78 crore in the name of the entities beneficially owned by Hari Shankar Tibrewal have been frozen by ED under PMLA 2002.

Earlier in this case, movable properties totalling Rs 572.41 crore were seized and frozen during searches conducted under the PMLA, 2002. Two provisional attachment orders have been issued, attaching movable and immovable properties valued at Rs 142.86 crore.

Prosecution complaints dated October 20, 2023, and January 1 of this year have been filed in the case. Nine accused have already been apprehended in connection with the case. Thus, total attachment and freezing in the case stand at Rs 1,296.05 crore.

The move comes almost a month after the federal agency arrested two individuals, Nitin Tibrewal from Kolkata and Amit Agrawal from Raipur. Both accused were arrested in the second week of January.

Earlier, the ED had arrested alleged accused Asim Das, Bheem Singh Yadav, Chandrabhushan Verma, Anil Kumar Agrawal, Sunil Dammani, and Satish Chandrakar. The agency stated that the illicit funds generated by the app were used to bribe politicians and bureaucrats.

In November last year, the ED had also conducted searches against the money laundering networks linked with the alleged Mahadev Book Online Betting App, which led to the recovery of cash worth Rs 5.39 crore and a bank balance of Rs 15.59 crore.

Several celebrities and Bollywood actors have also been summoned by the agency for questioning regarding their connections with the online betting platform and the payment methods involved.

ED has filed two charge sheets in the Mahadev app case, including against the main promoters, Sourabh Chandrakar and Ravi Uppal. The two promoters were recently detained in Dubai based on an Interpol red notice, and ED is working on their deportation or extradition to India.

The first charge sheet alleges that Chandrakar spent around Rs 200 crore in cash for his wedding in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, in February 2023. The agency claims that private jets were hired to transport Chandrakar’s relatives, and celebrities were paid for performances. The projected proceeds of crime in this case are estimated at Rs 6,000 crore.

The agency filed the second charge sheet before a special court in Raipur on January 1 of this year.

The about 1,700-1,800 page fresh charge sheet specifically named five accused, including alleged cash courier Asim Das, police constable Bheem Singh Yadav, and Shubham Soni, a prominent executive linked to the app, among others.

Das and Yadav were arrested by the agency in November last year, just before the first phase of polling for the assembly polls in Chhattisgarh.

Soni, who had claimed to be the owner of the app, earlier issued a video statement and sent an affidavit to the ED claiming to have “proof” about kickbacks paid to politicians and their linked persons for allowing the app to run its illegal businesses without any legal action.

ED previously asserted that Mahadev app promoters paid approximately Rs 508 crore to former Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel. These claims, made just before the state assembly polls, were denied by Baghel, who labelled them as attempts to malign his image. The Congress party termed it vendetta politics by the Centre.

Chandrakar and Uppal, originally from Bhilai town in Chhattisgarh, are associated with the Mahadev online betting app, which is accused of facilitating illegal betting websites. (ANI)

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