Punter who lost money betting on matches arrested after dialling Siraj for help
The incident happened during the India-Australia ODI series which preceded the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL)
CHENNAI: It's not always that big-time bookies or punters approach cricketers to influence the outcome of matches. Sometimes it's done by small-time punters too. In a bizarre incident, a punter sought help from a cricketer to turn around his fortunes.
Having lost a lot of money on betting, a man recently approached India pacer Mohammed Siraj seeking his help to get out of the mess. The 29-year-old pacer from Hyderabad immediately reported the issue to the BCCI's Anti-Corruption Unit, which in turn sought help from cyber cops and local police to nab the person in question.
"He sent messages on WhatsApp to Siraj informing him about the losses he incurred on betting and wanted his help. He requested the pacer to help him out. Siraj informed us about the approach," a highly-placed source with the BCCI's ACU told The New Indian Express.
"The accused is not associated with any gang nor does he have past record of betting. He lost a lot of money while betting on matches and was hoping Siraj would help him to get out of the situation. We took the help of the cyber police. We also kept his phone under observation with the help of local police. Eventually, we traced him. Our officers accompanied local police when he was caught somewhere in Andhra," added the source.
The source informed that the incident happened during the India-Australia ODI series which preceded the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). The insider, however, didn't reveal what means the person used to place the bet (in the Indian context, it is governed by the Public Gambling Act of 1867 where betting is a state subject. But, by and large, it is banned in most states save for a few exceptions).
Recently, crime branch unit 6 of the Mumbai police arrested five persons from Wankhede Stadium in an IPL betting case. They were allegedly using mobile apps to bet on the match between hosts Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders held at the venue on Sunday.
Speaking on the arrest, the ACU official said, "Wherever matches are being held, we are in close contact with local police. We have our data bank which comprises photographs and other details of the suspects. We share it with the cops as this crime falls under their jurisdiction. The cops in turn keep an eye on those visiting the venues and if they match with the details we have shared, then they apprehend the suspects. Before Mumbai, arrests have been made in Delhi and Ahmedabad as well."
No approach at IPL
The source affirmed that none of the players or support staff have been approached by bookies this IPL so far. "No approach so far in the IPL. The emphasis is on educating all the stakeholders of the game. We have trained officers who conduct classes and give presentations to educate players. Not only players and support staff are educated, but team managers and match officials are also given the education. We also keep the promoters in the loop and send them details of the education programmes we are carrying out."