Visakhapatnam

IPL betting racket busted, 7 arrested

Police officials presenting the accused before the media in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.

Police officials presenting the accused before the media in Visakhapatnam on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam

Task Force ACP says this is the biggest catch in the last four years

In a major breakthrough, the City Task Force team and a team from the Three Town Police Station in a joint operation cracked an IPL betting racket and arrested seven members from two gangs that were operating from two apartments in the posh Kirlampudi layout. in the city

Based on reliable information, the teams raided the apartment on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday and arrested the accused who indulged in high-stake betting during the ongoing IPL cricket match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings.

The arrested have been identified as Marada Laxmi Chandra Sekhar of SR Nagar, Hyderabad, Gandi Swami of Marupalli village of Vizianagaram district and Gadni Ramu Naidu of Kailam village of Vizianagaram of one gang.

And the other gang members have been identified as Avupati Bheema Raju of Anaparthi in East Godavari, Bhogila Satyam and Lokarapu Tirupati of Kailam village of Vizianagaram and Kovvuri Vara Prasad of Anaparthi.

The CTF team led by ACP I. Chittibabu and Three Town team led by Emmanuel Raju, seized three laptops, five multi-level cell connectivity boxes, 93 mobile phones, three television sets, nine personal mobile phones, about 100 used SIM cards, 34 unused SIM cards, five betting registers, one digital scanner, one four wheeler, four two-wheelers, and ₹10.6 lakh in cash.

This was the biggest catch in the last four years, said Mr. Chittibabu.

According to Joint Commissioner of Police Nagendra Kumar, both the gangs took flats on rent in the Kirlampudi area about three months ago, procured all the equipment from Bengaluru, got trained in handling the equipment and have been in business since the beginning of the IPL season.

Sources in the police say that in the last 13 days of IPL, the betting turnover crossed ₹2.5 crore.

“Most the punters or persons who put money on the bets were from East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts,” said Mr. Chittibabu.

According to Mr. Nagendra Kumar, there is a bigger network and efforts are on to delve deeper into the racket.

The betting amount varied from ₹5,000 to ₹50,000 and beyond ₹50,000 the bets were diverted to bigger organisers in cities such as Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad, said Mr. Nagendra Kumar.

Describing the modus operandi, Mr. Chittibabu said that the customers were selected based on the recommendations of earlier customers and codes were given. The organisers would then collect and advance varying from ₹25,000 to ₹50,000 and would allow the customers place their bets. The difference of amount was collected the next day, either through online payments or cash.

SIM cards

But worrying the police is the assimilation of so many SIM cards. “We have to investigate on who could they manage to procure so many SIM cards. Normally, SIM cards are issued based on submission of legal identification documents. Since, all the SIM cards are from one company and obtained under CUG (closed user group) system, we have to investigate the link with the operator,” said Mr. Nagendra Kumar.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 9:41:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/ipl-betting-racket-busted-7-arrested/article23688079.ece

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