Continuing its crackdown against bookmakers during the on-going ICC World Cup, the crime branch on Friday arrested two notorious bookies from the western suburbs as they were accepting bets from punters.
Additional commissioner of police, crime, Deven Bharti said Durlav Patel, 58, was arrested from a flat in Dindoshi while his associate Deepak Sanghvi was arrested later.
According to Bharti, sleuths from the social service branch (SSB) were tipped off about bets being accepted for the New Zealand-Zimbabwe match. An SSB detective, masquerading as a punter, placed the bet and the person accepting the bets was traced to room 702 on the 7th floor of Monica Sadan building in Dindoshi. The sleuths closed in on the flat and Patel was found accepting bets. A laptop, television set, three mobile phones and two landlines were found in the room that allegedly belonged to Patel. During questioning, Patel revealed that Sangvi was his associate. On SSB’s instruction, Patel contacted Sangvi and asked him to come to a particular spot. Sangvi was arrested when he arrived around 3.15 pm.
SSB sources said Patel and Sangvi had begun their operations from the time the practice matches began last month. The laptop and mobile phones have been sent for forensic analysis to ascertain their punter base and the money involved in betting activities. It may be recalled that almost all major bookies from Mumbai, including their kingpin Junior Kolkata, are suspected to have shifted base to outstation locations, fearing police action. It was learnt that many frontline bookies have hired yachts and boats and are operating from Konkan and Goa coasts during the matches.
It is said the largest amount placed as bets on the WC so far was during the India-England match that ended in a tie. It is said that just from Mumbai, a staggering Rs 5,000 crore was bet on that match.