HYDERABAD: As many as 36 persons, including businessmen, who indulged in gambling by playing three-cards on the occasion of Diwali, were arrested from Hyderabad Hotel Mariott by the Task Force sleuths of Hyderabad police.
Police seized Rs 23.37 lakh cash, liquor bottles, Casino coins, hookah pots and debit/credit cards from the accused. Three persons are still absconding in connection with the offence. The organisers had also arranged for POS machines for cashless transactions.
According to police, three organisers Sanjay Kumar, Rakesh Juneja and Rajinder Nagpal Singh have booked three rooms - 7010,7015 and 7025 at the star hotel on October 17 by paying Rs 25,000 each room including food and organised three cards by accepting Rs 2 lakh from each customer.
Days before Diwali festival, the five organisers have reserved rooms in star hotel and invited the customers who are businessmen in the city. Since three days, the illegal activity was taking place at the hotel. Of the five organisers, two organisers were arrested previously in gambling cases.
"The organisers attracted the punters who are in habit of playing three-cards game for money. 36 arrested persons include two gaming organisers, 28 punters and six assisting organisers. All were being served hookah, liquor and food inside the rooms,'' said the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Task Force, C Shashidhar Raju said.
Further, the police said that the organisers collected cash from the punter for casino coins to bet on three cards game. The organisers had also arranged for swiping machines to accept debit/credit cards from the punters. "The organisers have huge network among the businessmen who are addicted to playing three-cards and the accused are used to organising such illegal events,'' said Shashidhar Raju.
Acting on a tip off, the Task Force police conducted raids at the three rooms while the organisers along with punters were gambling three-cards for money at Marriott hotel. "We have registered cases against the 36 persons under gaming Act and also Excise Act for possessing large quantities of liquor. We will consider opening history sheets against five organisers for committing offences repeatedly in organising gambling. The organisers have chosen the star hotel to avoid police vigil on their illegal activities,'' the Additional DCP said.
The arrested persons along with seized material were handed over to Gandhi Nagar police for further investigation. Special teams have been forms to nab the absconding accused in connection with the offence.