NOIDA: Cops widened the net of arrests in the multi-thousand crore Mahadev betting app fraud case to a Jhansi native who was allegedly one of the key members of the Noida operations and was proficient in technical know-how.The accused, Sachin Soni (34) was arrested from his rented house at the Golden Palms society in Sector 168, police said on Friday. They said he was among those who operated from the bungalow in Sector 108, where cops had earlier this week busted the gang and arrested 16 other suspects involved in running the app. Investigators have so far traced transactions worth Rs 500 crore from the accounts of the accused, but believe the scam could run up to Rs 5,000 crore. “On Friday, we managed to get hold of Soni from a flat in Sector 168. It was found that he had been involved in this nexus from the past 3-4 years. Initially, he worked as an executive who sent messages and made calls, etc. Later he rose through the ranks and became the point person for managing the manpower that operated from the bungalow in Noida,” ACP Rajneesh Verma said.Registered in Dubai in 2016, the Mahadev app was the brainchild of three youths from Bhilai and Raigarh — Saurabh Chandrakar, Ravi Uppal and Atul Aggarwal. In three years, it managed 12 lakh users but the user base crossed the 50-lakh mark in 2020. The arrests in the racket, which operates across countries through ‘contracts’ issued to local operators to run books, are close to 170.Soni, police said, was a resident of Jhansi and lived near another absconding accused, Neeraj. Neeraj is believed to be a close aide of the mastermind Saurabh Chandrakar, who is suspected to be in Dubai. Investigations said Soni got in touch with Neeraj ten years ago, and was part of the earlier operations in Jhansi, until the accused shifted base to NCR. Neeraj, Arif, Ansaf, Tarun Lakhera, Akhil Seth and Vishal Sharma are among those who started the India operations for the racket, police have said. “Soni used to look after the manpower of the operations. He was technically sound. Earlier he was also a ground operator, but after years of experience, he was promoted,” the ACP said.