Police bust online IPL betting racket in east Delhi, 3 bookies arrested
Betting scandals have hit the IPL tournament in recent years, with former pacer S Sreesanth being handed a life ban by the cricket board for involvement in a spot-fixing scandal in the 2013 season.delhi Updated: Apr 16, 2018 23:46 IST
The Delhi Police said on Monday they had arrested three men for allegedly running an online betting racket linked to the Indian Premier League from a house in east Delhi’s Subhash Park area.
The three were allegedly using a software on their laptops that kept a record of those placing bets and the financial transactions. Eighty people were involved in placing bets when the house was raided in Shahdara, said police.
Monday’s arrests were the first bust by the Delhi Police of a gambling racket in the 11th season of the T20 cricket league. Four other similar syndicates have been exposed across India, including in Hyderabad and Telangana, between April 8 and 15, according to police officials.
Betting scandals have hit the tournament in recent years, with former pacer S Sreesanth being handed a life ban by the cricket board for involvement in a spot-fixing scandal in the 2013 season.
The Chennai and Rajasthan franchises were also suspended for two years after officials of the two teams were found to be involved in illegal betting activities.
Nupur Prasad, deputy commissioner of police (Shahdara), said on Monday the three arrested bookies were betting online on Saturday’s match between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils. Eleven mobile phones, an LED TV with a set-top box and a laptop was seized, the DCP said.
“The bookies had accepted bets of around Rs 40 lakh from 84 punters when our team raided the house and arrested them,” said Prasad.
“The three were watching the running commentary of the IPL match on TV and updating the rates, win and loss to their clients through the mobile phones. They were calling each punter and accepting the bet,” she said.
Those arrested were identified as Shekhar Gandhi, mastermind behind the racket, Nikhil Goyal and Dheeraj Sharma, all from Shahdara.
Prasad said the bookies limited the bets to a small group of “like-minded people” who were regularly involved in gambling. The bookies informed those interested in placing bets about the matches over the phone. The minimum betting amount was Rs 10,000, the police said.
“The bookies would call the punters and give current rates per over or Powerplay overs, total predicted score, fall of wickets, win and loss, of the match between the two teams. The balance sheet is prepared after the match is over. Money collection and distribution is done later,” said a police officer associated with the case on condition of anonymity.
Police said Gandhi was previously involved in five theft and snatching cases. Goyal runs a grocery shop and Dheeraj is unemployed.