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Cricket betting racket: Cops identify 29 bookies behind ‘larger’ syndicate

On January 8, cops raided a Santacruz (West) flat and arrested four men for placing bets on the Australian T20 league, including the alleged kingpin, Bipin Shah.

mumbai Updated: Jan 29, 2019 15:12 IST
Aritra Hazra
Aritra Hazra
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
cricket betting syndicate busted in santacruz,mumbai police,cricket betting racket
The Mumbai police suspect that 29 bookies are linked to the cricket betting syndicate busted recently in Santacruz.(HT File / Photo used for representational purpose only)

The Mumbai police suspect that 29 bookies, including Ritesh Bansal —an accused in the 2013 IPL racket— are linked to the cricket betting syndicate busted recently in Santacruz. However, the police were unable to arrest Bansal from Delhi, earlier this month, as he escaped.

With Bansal’s name cropping up in the investigation, the police now suspect that the Santacruz racket may be connected to more leagues and tournaments across the world. “Around 29 names have cropped up during the interrogation. All 29 of them, including Bansal and the arrested accused, are allegedly involved in cricket betting across Mumbai or Delhi in various matches,” said an officer. He added that till now, there has been no trace of the involvement of players in the syndicate.

On January 8, cops raided a Santacruz (West) flat and arrested four men for placing bets on the Australian T20 league, including the alleged kingpin, Bipin Shah. So far, seven men have been arrested, including Ketan Tanna and Nikunj Thakkar, based on Shah’s accounts.

After their arrest, investigations led the cops to Bansal, alias Bharat Delhi, who is allegedly linked to Shah. It was found that after 2013, Bansal was again arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in 2015 for laundering money. He also had connections with bookies in Dubai and Pakistan. This led the police to suspect the existence of a larger racket.

However, the city police faced a major setback when they travelled to Delhi, earlier this month and tried to nab Bansal along with the Delhi police. While one cop, posing as a milkman, reached his three-storey bungalow in central Delhi, the others surrounded the house, said an officer. However, when he rang the bell, he found that Bansal had already escaped. “Bansal’s arrest is important for us as it would give us an idea of the money trail, and all those related to him,” said another officer.

Police said they are using Shah’s records to check the matches in which bets were placed. During the raid on January 8, the Santacruz police had also recovered a communicator, 18 mobile phones and other equipment used by the bookies.

First Published: Jan 29, 2019 15:12 IST

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