BENGALURU: Pari Rajan, alias Rajan (52), the suspected kingpin of the single-digit lottery scam, lived an ordinary life commuting in trains even after he turned his small business into an empire allegedly with the help of his friends in the police department.
Rajan, a resident of Bharath Nagar in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), always used to wear a neatly pressed white khadi shirt and say that he was a movie script writer. Not many in KGF know which film he wrote the script for. That was about eight years ago.
In the last couple of years, he changed his way of talking. Rajan used to claim that he personally knew several senior officers, and that he could get any kind of work done. While most people never took him seriously, little did they know that Rajan had several police officers in his pocket.
He visited Bengaluru almost every day. In the last couple of years, he lived mostly in the city and visited KGF once or twice a week. Though he is said to have made hundreds of crores, his travel habits did not change.He was a regular commuter in Seshadri Express (Bengaluru-Kakinada) and Brindavan Express (Bengaluru-Chennai) till he was nabbed by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Investigations reveal that Rajan was working for one Martin, known as the ‘lottery king’ in the country. He is based in Chennai. The other person who is said to be a big time racketeer is Michael, an associate of Martin.
According to sources, Rajan came in contact with Dharnesh, the SP who was suspended last week, almost two decades ago when the latter was posted in KGF. During those days Rajan used to work for a lottery company.The exact nature of his work is not known, but sources say he was doing liaison work with the police department and lottery officials.
Following the ban on lottery in the state by the Dharam Singh-led Congress-JD(S) government, Rajan lost his job and started running illegal single-digit lotteries.His proximity with Dharnesh allegedly helped in the growth of his illegal business, particularly in areas where the officer was posted. Later, as his business prospered, Rajan came in contact with senior officials.
Suspended IPS officer Alok Kumar was in fact introduced to Rajan by him. According to sources, Rajan’s liaison skills came in handy in building a quick rapport with police and he was soon allowed free access to the chambers of almost all senior officers. He entertained them according to their needs, with expensive gifts, holiday tickets and even cash.
Sources said the CID interim report submitted to the government names several senior serving and retired police officers who were in regular touch with Rajan. The CID, in fact had listed the names of 24 officers to be summoned in the case. It is, however, not clear whether all those who were in contact with Rajan were involved in the racket.