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Mumbai’s matka millionaire

It was a stable that was just a few days away from welcoming its most breathtakingly chic creature, a Lamborghini Murcielago, when the police arrived, reports Debasish Panigrahi.

india Updated: Aug 19, 2008 01:09 IST
Debasish Panigrahi

It was a stable that was just a few days away from welcoming its most breathtakingly chic creature, a Lamborghini Murcielago, when the police arrived.

The Murcielago — a Spanish name, inspired by a bull that survived 24 sword strokes in an 1879 fight — would have made the car collection of Hitesh, the 27-year-old son of slain matka (an illegal, instant lottery) king Suresh Bhagat, worth Rs 5 crore.

Hitesh had already paid the Rs 3 crore for the sports car from Italy. The other cars he drove were an imported Mitsubishi Pajero, a Lexus, a Chevrolet SRV, an imported Suzuki Grand Vitara and a Skoda Octavia.

Hitesh and his mother Jaya, both accused in the contract killing plot against the elder Bhagat, will be in the custody of the Crime Branch till Monday.

Booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act in connection with the murder, it was their second time in police custody in a month.

Hitesh’s latest custody was a result of the surfacing of some incriminating details concerning his properties.

The police said investigations were slowly throwing up the family’s immense hidden wealth.

“We never thought such sly operators would have accumulated so much wealth,” senior inspector Ramesh Mahale of Unit I crime branch said.

Mahale and his unit are currently investigating the murder of Bhagat, whose estranged wife and son were said to be after his empire and engineered a road accident that claimed him.

During their first custody, Hitesh and Jaya were also taken into custody by the Daman police for a week.

Now, Hitesh’s property details, along with the list of his cars, were submitted in court. Among other properties, he owns six shopping malls in the suburbs.