Busted gambling den akin to casinos in Goa, Mumbai

Top floor of flat had a ‘poker room’; winners paid in cash and cheque

Published: 09th December 2021 06:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th December 2021 06:46 AM   |  A+A-

The items seized by the police from the gambling centre | File pic

Express News Service

KOCHI: It was like a casino one usually sees only in Goa and Mumbai. Even the police officials who busted the den at Chilavannur on Sunday were bewildered, as it looked similar to the casinos in these cities. The unearthing of the illegal gambling centre here is just the tip of the iceberg, suspect the police.

The gambling den with modern facilities was found to be operating from the 18th-floor apartment in a complex on Chilavannur Bund Road near Kadavanthra. The top floor of the duplex flat was the ‘poker room’, where the gambling was organised. The seating arrangement was in such a way that seven persons could involve in gambling at the same time, said sources. Tipson Francis, 33, a North Paravoor native who allegedly ran the gambling den, was arrested in the case.

Instead of cash, they used plastic coins of various denominations such as Rs 7,000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 20,000 to gamble. After the gambling, money would be paid in cash or cheque by the accused, said the police. During the inquiry, the police found that Tipson had rented the flat for Rs 60,000 per month. He is staying along with his family in another flat in the same apartment complex.

The police received the tip-off about the centre during the investigation into the narcotic links of Syju Thankachan, who was arrested in connection with the car crash that killed three persons including two models on November 1. Investigators suspected that Syju organised rave parties at various locations in the city and launched searches. The gambling centre was busted while the police team was carrying out raids in this case.

The gambling centre was opened during the first lockdown period in 2020. The clients were admitted only after paying an advance amount. Tipson reportedly earned around Rs 1.5 lakh from a day of gambling. According to the police officials, details of the clients of the accused and other visitors to the flat are being probed. 

Kochi City DCP Aishwarya Dongre said a detailed investigation is under way. “Currently, only one person has been arrested in the case. We are examining the bank transactions of the accused in detail so as to trace the clients,” she said.


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