The international cricket bookmaking syndicate in Mumbai that was busted by the crime branch last week, was in touch with four high-profile bookies in Pakistan who have been identified.
Crime branch sources told HT on Sunday that the city’s bookie syndicate was in touch with Aitesham Lahor, Javed UBL, Dr Javed Karachi and Aarif Lahor—who are considered heavy weights in Pakistan cricket bookmaking circles. “For the bookies in Mumbai, they were clients. They would put their bet on the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches with the Mumbai bookies at the behest of theira section of TYBSc results declared punters in Pakistan,” sources said.
The betting was done not only over match results, but for every ball bowled, runs scored, wickets and even wides and no balls during the IPL matches, they said. The betting was run through betfair.com, a website which, though legal in London, is illegal in India, the crime branch sources said.
Following the arrest and subsequent interrogation of Feroz Ansari, 38, a former driver with key bookie Chhote Miyan, who had been killed in 2009, the crime branch has learnt that the money transaction with the Pakistani bookies were made through a hawala operator in Kalbadevi.
The crime branch is presently searching for the hawala operator and some more operatives of the betting syndicate. Till Saturday, a total of seven operatives of the syndicate had been arrested.
Sources said that the racket, which has links with bookies in Dubai, was even in touch with fugitive Karachi-based underworld kingpin Chhota Shakeel.
Ansari was close to Shakeel by virtue of his association with Chhote Miyan who once ran Shakeel’s betting syndicate in Mumbai before he was shot outside his gambling den in Nagpada.
After the death of Miya, Ansari is said to have given all the contacts of the former to the bookies, Sonu Yogendra Jalan alias Sonu Malad and Devendra Sripal Kothari, who have been arrested.
“Ansari was looking after the business transactions. If there were any irregularities in payment by punters, Ansari, through his contacts in the Shakeel gang, would settle the matter,” sources added.