Names of two international bookies have surfaced in the cricket-betting racket unearthed in Janakipuram, Lucknow on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday. The racket was busted during the Champions Trophy final between India and England and six persons were arrested.
“Mumbai-based Sobham and Munish, whose names had come up during the Indian domestic T20 league as well, were behind the racket busted in Lucknow. They have an international network,” said Ravindra Kumar Singh, assistant superintendent of police (ASP), Lucknow crime branch. He said Sobham was also on the radar of Mumbai crime branch and a lookout notice had been issued against him.
Singh said the name of the duo came to the fore while scanning call details of the people arrested from Janakipuram. He said one of the arrested persons, Sanjay Mishra, was directly linked to Sobham and Munish. Mishra had been operating betting rackets in different cities through the two international bookies, Singh added.
The ASP said Mishra’s association was also found with a Delhi-based bookie Bittu, whose name had surfaced in the international betting racket too. Besides, he was also in touch with bookie Vaghla of Chandigarh as well as Sintu and Mama of Haridwar, he added. Singh said, “We have got some more crucial clues about the betting racket network spread all across the country. We are in touch with the sleuths of Mumbai crime branch and Delhi police.” He said a crime branch team along with a team led by incharge of Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) Pankaj Singh has been deployed to further explore the betting network. He also said some more arrests are likely in the matter.
Earlier, the Lucknow crime branch sleuths had arrested six persons, including Mishra who was identified as the main operator. The rest of the arrested included Shiv Kumar of Unnao, Harsh Ahuja of Kanpur and Lucknow-based Vishal Kapoor, Jitendra Kashyap and Rinku. The police team had also recovered Rs 67,000, 32 cell phones and 30 SIM cards, which were used to operate the betting racket, from their possession.
The racket was working out of a rented flat of an apartment complex in Janakipuram area. The betting was taking place in two ways: on the entire match result and spot betting. While bet for the result was placed at the start of the match or midway, spot betting (pertaining to score of an over, wide ball, no ball and wicket in an over) was done by keeping the bettor connected through phones or internet.