Five young men allegedly involved in running a betting syndicate on the final match between India and Sri Lanka in the Celkon Mobile Cup tri-series have been arrested by the Delhi Police Crime Branch. The police claim to have seized from them records revealing that they had accepted bets to the tune of Rs.1.5 crore.

The alleged mastermind identified as Lalit Solanki (27), a resident of Pooth Kalan, recruited unemployed young men on a monthly salary. The police on Thursday received a tip-off that he had been running a betting racket along with his accomplices. A Crime Branch team led by Inspector Anand Singh raided the den around midnight and arrested the five accused who were monitoring the match on a television and operating through seven mobile phones and two laptops loaded with software packages meant to manage the entire show.

“A scrutiny of one of the laptops revealed that 17 punters had placed bets on the two cricket teams and there were 73 betting entries. The other one contained details on 21 punters and a betting amount of Rs.28,550 on Indian team and 81 betting entries. One of the mobile phones seized from the accused was being used for receiving betting rates, while the others were for recording conversations between the bookies and the punters,” said Additional Commissioner of Police Ravindra Yadav.

During interrogation, accused Lalit Solanki purportedly disclosed that after completing his studies he had started a transport business. However, he suffered huge losses. He later came in contact with some local bookies including Pawan Solanki (30), at whose instance he floated his own betting network. The accused would shift base in the same locality to evade detection.

Apart from Lalit, the police have arrested Pawan, Mohit Kaushik (21), Jitender (22) and Nitin Shokeen (27). Pawan allegedly told the interrogators that he entered the betting business about two years ago and would hire unemployed men on fixed salaries to work for him.

“Nitin is a childhood friend of Lalit and Pawan, while Mohit’s father is a property dealer. Accused Jeetender, a barber, hails from Mansa in Punjab and was working for the syndicate at a monthly salary of Rs.7,000,” said Mr. Yadav.

More In: Delhi | Cricket | Sport