Arun Khanvilkar, the Anti Terrorism Squad senior inspector arrested by the Anti Corruption Bureau on Friday for allegedly collecting money from a lottery shop owner from Kandivli, was also accused in a graft case in 2003.
ACB sources told Hindustan Times on Monday that the case was made against Khanvilkar when he was posted at the Bhoiwada police station. A technicality saved Khanvilkar from being trapped.
Khanvilkar was let off for lack of evidence. Officers investigating the present ACB case said Khanvilkar, a 1982 batch officer, is suspected to have developed links with cricket bookies during his ATS posting, around four years ago.
His job profile — to gather intelligence and investigate terror cases — gave him the liberty to conduct raids on cricket book-making cartels, which are suspected to be linked to the underworld. This is how he met Chetan Desai alias Khamla, private secretary to a former state minister, whose links with bookies are well known.
“Desai roped several bookies into Khanvilkar’s circuit,” a ATS officer added. Cricket bookie Ajay Ghosalia was one such contact, who came handy for Khanvilkar.
It is suspected Ganda collected Rs 5 lakh from one of the relatives of Manoj Singh, the lottery shop owner illegally detained by Khanvilkar on December 26. “We are looking for Ganda, who is a crucial missing link in the present graft case,” the officer added.
ACB Deputy Inspector General of Police Niket Kaushik said the agency is trying to locate the money allegedly collected by Khanvilkar from Singh. The ACB will go over Khanvilkar’s property and investment details, to check if they are disproportionate to his known sources of income.
“We have two things to do now — recover the initial amount (Rs 5 lakh) that he allegedly got, then trace more independent witnesses for the case,” Kaushik added.
On Friday, Khanvilkar was arrested with Desai and Sanjay Khakhar, a middleman. Desai and Pintoo were arrested while accepting a bribe of Rs 2.5 lakh from Singh, on behalf of Khanvilkar, who was picked up from his house at Kalachowkie.
Khanvilkar and his staff had raided a club at Mulund on December 26, and picked up five businessmen for alleged gambling. While four were let off, Singh was detained all night until he paid up Rs 5 lakh.