Mazhar Majeed, the London-based alleged bookie whose revelations sparked off the current furore over ‘spot fixing’ by Pakistani cricketers, was also arrested for his involvement in a money laundering operation. His wife and elder brother Azhar Majeed had been arrested as well.
All three have since been released on bail. Azhar Majeed is Mazhar’s business partner in the agency that represents a number of Pakistani players.
According to Sky News the arrest was carried out by UK customs officials in a criminal investigation entirely separate from match fixing allegations.
“Mazhar was re-arrested by the customs service as part of a connected investigation into money laundering. He was released only on Tuesday,” Sky TV said. Majeed had earlier been held by Scotland Yard on Saturday over allegations of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.
Tainted stay away
Meanwhile, all three cricketers at the centre of the ‘spot-fixing’ storm — Salman butt, Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif — were absent when the Pakistani team held a practice session on Tuesday.
Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed confirmed Captain Salman Butt, pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer were not at the nets. “They are not practicing as they have to attend a meeting at the Pakistan High Commission on Wednesday, in connection with the ongoing investigations into spot-fixing,” said Saeed.
Pakistan Cricket Board sources told HT that, apart from High Commission officials, Scotland Yard would also be questioning the trio.
There is yet no official word on whether the players would be retained for Pakistan’s first Twenty20 international against England But ICC sources confirmed that an unspecified number of matches that Pakistan has played during the time Majeed has been a players’ agent, are already being investigated by its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit.
Wicket keeper cleared
Wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, also named by Majeed as being part of the betting network, however, attended Tuesday’s practice session for a warm-up match with Somerset. He has reportedly been cleared by Scotland Yard. While the ICC and PCB are both waiting for Scotland Yard to conclude its investigation, there is also a parallel investigation being carried out by the ICC into wider charges relating to the involvement of cricketers in match-fixing and spot-betting.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Sports is awaiting reports from both Scotland Yard and the PCB.
“We are expecting the PCB report by Wednesday and the Scotland Yard report by Thursday latest,” Sports Ministry spokesperson Faik Ali told Hindustan Times from Islamabad.
The Ministry also formed a three-member committee to investigate the allegations in consultation with the Interior Ministry on Tuesday.