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Busting of the match-fixing scam

Delhi Police stumbled on their prize when they were tapping Karol Bagh businessman Gupta's phone, who was receiving extortion calls from gangsters, reports Sobhana K.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2006 03:21 IST
Sobhana K

Karol Bagh businessman RK Gupta could have never imagined that he would lead Delhi Police to its biggest success story.

Delhi Police stumbled on the prize when they were tapping Gupta’s phone. The businessman had been receiving extortion calls from gangsters. Gupta filed a complaint at the Karol Bagh police station in 1999. The case, after police investigations, was handed over to the crime branch. Inspector Ishwar Singh was in charge.

Singh, while recording the conversations, heared bookie Sanjeev Chawla talking to South African skipper Hansie Cronje.

According to police, Gupta was getting extortion calls from Shaheen Hateli, a Dubai-based gangster.

Police were about to close the case when Kishen Kumar, the brother of T-Series owner, Gulshan Kumar, called Hateli. This was the first lead. The taped conversations also revealed that Cronje was in regular touch with bookies and that South Africa’s matches during the one-day series with India were being fixed.

Police were trying to piece together the puzzle when they learnt about Rajesh Kalra, another bookie.

Kalra was Chawla’s associate. Chawla, police said, called up Kalra and asked him to get a phone for Cronje.

This was the big breakthrough.

Police then started tapping the phone given to Cronje.

Chawla is also believed to have gone to meet the South African team in Cochin during an ODI.

Police also have records of Chawla's meeting with Cronje at the Taj Palace hotel in Delhi.

The conversation between Chawla and Cronje about the Nagpur match in March 2000 led to the registration of a case at the Chankaya Puri police station in April 2000.

Delhi Police have been unable to arrest Chawla, who fled to London after the controversy broke out.

Police could arrest only three persons in the case — Kishen Kumar, Sunil Dara and Rakesh Kalra. Currently, they are all out on bail.