Businessmen, builders and share brokers were among 36 people arrested after police busted a “casino” set up for Diwali in a farmhouse in south Delhi’s posh Sainik Farms on Saturday night.
Eleven luxury cars were seized from the premises during the raid that also yielded a roulette machine, gambling tables, casino tokens worth more than Rs 1.36 crore, 250 packets of playing cards and 23 liquor bottles, police said.
The arrested persons, which include four women, were a close knit group to which entry was by invitation only.
“This gambling ring was limited to friends or friends’ friends. The minimum entry fee was Rs 5 lakh,” additional DCP (south) Nupur Prasad said.
To avoid detection, the organisers used to keep shifting their base and relied only on word of mouth. The group steered clear of web-based communication and even kept away from secure messaging platforms.
The organisers offered card games such as teen patti, blackjack and baccarat to the clients who purchased tokens, like in a casino, to be encashed the next day, police said.
Though an offence, gambling picks up around Diwali. It is considered auspicious by many and has over the years become a part of celebrations.
The owners of the farmhouse, Harender Kaushik and his “casino partner” Kunal Chandra, were on the run. The house is barely two kilometres from the Neb Sarai police station,
“We have requested the court to seal the farmhouse under the provisions of Delhi gambling act, as it was being used as a gambling den,” DCP (south) Ishwar Singh said.
Of the arrested, 20 were players. Rest were table attendants, waiters, caretakers, bouncers and parking staff.