Gulf, Pakistan angle surfaces in spot-fixing racket
Mumbai Police have arrested three bookies for allegedly accepting bets on IPL matches and seized 92 cell phones used for running the betting racket. They found that bookies in Mumbai were coordinating with their counterparts in Dubai and Pakistan to receive bets. The racket was busted after the police observed a spurt in international calls from Pakistan and Dubai to Mumbai before, during and after the IPL matches.
The call trail led the police to an apartment at Kalbadevi in South Mumbai, where betting was in progress. The police arrested three persons — Ramesh Bajranglal Vyas (52), Pandurang Kadam (41) and Ashok Vyas (32) — as they were allegedly placing bets on IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab.
Vyas, who has also been named by the Delhi Police in their probe on spot-fixing, was the conduit between the international bookies and those in Mumbai. He would provide the communication links through conference calls, for which he got a cut. When the house was raided, 30 phones were busy on international conference calls. As many as 18 SIM cards, a TV set, laptop, set top box and cash were among other items that police seized.
Mumbai Police believe that though they had a head start, the Delhi Police may have got involved after the Maharashtra police tipped the central agencies as the probe revealed crime on an international scale.
As Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar pointed out on Thursday, an individual can’t do spot fixing. He said a chain of bookies and players were involved in the racket. “It doesn’t happen with one person. We do not know who started the chain exactly. These bookies spot talents. They look for vulnerable people, which also require patience. They work on it and it doesn’t happen overnight.,” Kumar said adding that a host of agencies, including the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax are likely to be probe the scandal.
On the allegation of Sreesanth’s family that Indian team’s skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni conspired to frame him, Kumar said: “Mahendra Singh Dhoni didn’t put the towel in his trousers.”