Disclosing that the suspected masterminds behind the Indian Premier League match spot-fixing racket were operating from abroad, Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar on Thursday told The Hindu that the police would contact their counterparts in those countries seeking assistance.
“As of now, we have phone intercepts revealing that people having suspected links with the Mumbai underworld were involved in the entire racket. Their identities have not been established yet. We will certainly contact the investigating agencies abroad in this regard,” said the police commissioner, whose role in cracking an international cricket match-fixing racket over a decade ago was recognised and appreciated by the then Central Bureau of Investigation Director R. K. Raghavan.
Many of the hundreds of calls exchanged between the three Rajasthan Royals cricketers and the bookies reportedly originated from the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan — pointing to an extensive network of conspirators behind the murky business. The three cricketers knew that each of them was hand-in-glove with the bookies, according to the police. The phone conversations have also purportedly revealed the “colourful” lifestyle of some of the accused cricketers.
The police suspect that most of the bookies involved in the case were operating under pseudonyms to evade detection, as has been the case over the years. “There are a large number of bookies suspected to be active in different parts of the country. However, only a few have direct links with cricketers…we cannot rule out that such malpractices are not going on in other teams or places. However, in this particular case we have no evidence to suggest involvement of any cricketer other than those arrested. Also, no role of the team management has been found. We have intimated the IPL management about the arrests made so far and, if necessary, will also suggest precautionary measures for future,” Mr. Kumar added.
The police commissioner, who praised the Special Cell for having carried out what he called a professional investigation, said once those operating from abroad are identified, efforts would be initiated through the Interpol to trace them and bring them to book. “We are presently on the lookout for four-five more bookies,” he said.
Earlier at a press conference, Mr. Kumar said being a cricket lover he felt sad and was anguished over the shocking revelations that cricketers were involved in spot-fixing.