The Ahmedabad Crime Branch recently unearthed a cricket betting racket worth more than Rs 1,400 crore. The cops said that bookies in Dubai, London, and elsewhere were involved in this racket and the possibility of involvement of Dawood Ibrahim’s syndicate cannot be ruled out.
As the sharpest brains from the Ahmedabad Crime Branch attempted to join the dots, they discovered googlies and bouncers which have left them flummoxed. Perhaps the biggest betting racket to have emerged from Gujarat till date, it was primarily operated out of a dummy bank account in Navrangpura locality.
Vibes of India has learnt that total transactions worth around Rs 1,800 crore were made from 11 bank accounts, of which around Rs 1,400 crore are being probed. The clueless cops have now sought the help of the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) and also listed a chartered accountant to get to the root of the racket.
WHAT THE COPS ARE LOOKING FOR
Scanning of the bank accounts reveals that hundreds of crores of rupees were debited, as well as credited in these accounts. The Crime Branch sleuths are trying to verify from where the money was deposited, and to whom it was credited.
Prima facie investigation has revealed that the suspects, identified as alleged bookies Rakesh Rajdev, a man named Khanna, Ashiq alias Ravi Hasmukh Patel, and Karmesh Kirit Patel used Aadhaar and PAN cards of one Akash Ojha to open the bank accounts. A transaction of Rs 170,70,43,359.85 crore was made from this account.
HOW BOOKIES FUNCTION
Cricket betting is big business. Bets are placed not only on the result of the match, but also on a ball-by-ball basis. For instance, bookies at the venue where the match is on place bets on how many runs will be scored off every ball and take advantage of a six-second delayed transmission on TV. Several such bookies have been arrested from various venues in India, including Mohali Cricket Stadium.
Bookies in Gujarat largely operate from out of India. They have aides who provide them IDs and there are certain businessmen who also place bets on matches. Bookies from Gujarat are also known to check into hotels in cities outside the state during matches.
In this case, DCP Chaitanya Mandlik said that lookout notices have been issued against the suspects. Sources, however, pointed out that a complaint was earlier filed against Rakesh Rajdev alias RR, who is alleged to be a top bookie in Gujarat. “The complaint was ‘settled’ and no action was taken against RR. He was emboldened and is now out of the reach of the cops,” the source said.
WHERE IS RR?
Rakesh Rajdev is believed to have reached Egypt via Dubai. The other suspects, Khanna, Ashiq alias Ravi Hasmukh Patel, and Karmesh Kirit Patel, are believed to be in Dubai. Police sources said these bookies lead a lavish lifestyle. Copies of bills procured from high-end hotels show tea worth Rs 50 lakh has been consumed. “The latest betting scam is more than the Gujarat state budget. This shows how deep the betting menace has spread in the state,” a source said.
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