Sikkim Lottery Case: ‘Sikkim Government incurred loss around ₹900 Crores’ ED reveals
SC Desk: In an investigation, Enforcement Directorate revealed that ‘Santiago Martin’ also known as the “lottery king,” and his associates made ‘illegal gains’ causing a loss of Rs910 crore to the Sikkim government through a lottery scam.
The lottery scam occurred during the period of 2009-10. Santiago Martin’s Coimbatore-based company, Future Gaming Solutions Private Limited, which served as the master distributor of Sikkim lotteries in Kerala, is accused of making “unlawful gains” by allegedly exaggerating the prize-winning claims.
On May 11 and 12, the agency conducted fresh investigations and raids against Martin and his family members in Chennai and Coimbatore.
The ED has been investigating Martin and his company in Tamil Nadu since 2019. The money laundering case stems from a CBI charge sheet filed against Martin and his associates for alleged offenses relating to the sale of Sikkim government lotteries in Kerala.
In a statement, the ED mentioned that Martin and his associated companies made illegal gains by inflating the prize-winning tickets. The scam took place between April 1, 2009, and May 31, 2010.
As part of the investigation against the “lottery king,” assets worth approximately ₹450 crore have been frozen under the anti-money laundering law. Investments of the group, such as fixed deposits and mutual funds worth ₹157.7 crore, have been frozen under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002. Additionally, immovable properties worth ₹299.16 crore were seized.
The ED also revealed that properties worth about Rs 457 crore were discovered as a result of search operations and have been seized/frozen.
By Aishwarya Shah. The author is a student of Department of Mass Communication, SRM University Sikkim. She can be contacted at email@example.com