The Bangalore City Police arrested 59 businessmen from Gujarat after they were caught red-handed at a gambling den in the city on Friday. The businessmen, many of whom are wealthy diamond merchants, had flown in to the city on a special flight for a weekend of gambling.
The Central Crime Branch recovered Rs 2.92 crore worth of gambling tokens and `15.36 lakh in cash from the group, making this the largest anti-gambling operation the city has seen.
Police sources said that the arrested businessmen, hailing from Surat and Ahmedabad, were brought into the city by Dinesh Shah, who is wanted in many parts of the country for running illegal gambling operations.
Shah had booked 53 rooms in two hotels in Bangalore, as well as a large party hall, which was converted into a gambling den. He would organise such weekend trips regularly, sometimes booking a whole flight for gamblers from Gujarat. The group would fly out on Friday and return on Monday. However, this was the first time he had organised a trip to Bangalore. In the past, his gambling destinations have included Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Goa, and even the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
According to Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Hemanth Nimbalkar, the turnover from the gambling tokens seized on Friday could easily be over `15 crore.