The accused have been operating the racket with the help of a mini telephone exchange for the last three years

A gang of five persons operating cricket betting racket using a mini telephone exchange with 25 separate lines was busted by Hyderabad police on Saturday.

Telephone line box (used as mini telephone exchange), Rs. 70,000, account books and two laptops were seized from the arrested persons, West Zone DCP G. Sudheer Babu said at a press conference.

The accused, Praveen Kumar and V. Ramu, were operating this racket with the help of accountants A. Ramakrishna and K. Narasimha Murthy, and collection agent Pandu for the past three years.

“They were making nearly Rs. 5 lakh profit on each cricket match,” the DCP said.

On a tip-off about the racket, the DCP’s special party led by Inspector Md. Khaleel Pasha raided a small guest house in Thumkunta on city outskirts the previous night.

The gang was accepting bet amounts on the IPL match between Delhi Dare Devils and Royal Challengers Bangalore when the police caught them. They organised betting on several cricket matches, including that of T20 World Cup and the last night’s was their 57 IPL match they organised betting on, the DCP said.

Gang leader Praveen Kumar’s speciality was in using line box which helped him to speak with 25 punters simultaneously.

“The punters need not watch the match to bet money. They can be driving or busy attending a function. Through the line box, Kumar would keep announcing score of the match ball-by-ball,” the DCP explained.

Punters can call Kumar any time during the match and bet their money. The accused would be in his guest house and continuously announce the match score sitting before the TV. He had put a micro chip in his mobile phone so that entire conversation of the punters is recorded so that they would not backtrack on their bets later.

He was so calculated that he had fixed the amount of money each punter can bet, having already assessed the latter’s financial ability.

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