The Crime Branch CID of Chennai Police on Friday arrested six bookies involved in betting on the ongoing IPL cricket matches. A hunt is on to apprehend six others, including the suspected kingpin based at New Delhi, agency sources said.

Addressing a press conference here, Superintendent of Police (CBCID) S. Rajeswari said special teams conducted raids at 13 places in the city on Thursday night and arrested S. Virudhachalam, Lucky alias Narpath, Pappu Gowtham, Deepak Bajaj, Sunil Bhajanlal and Harish Bajaj. Laptops, computers, mobile phones, communication gadgets and Rs. 14.39 lakh were seized from their premises.

The suspects, mostly businessmen, operated from their offices. They used laptops and mobile phones to conduct the betting on almost all the IPL matches. A case under Section 420 (cheating), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and Section 4 (d) of the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act was registered against them.

“Every bookie had a group of punters who would bet as soon as the matches commenced. The quantum and pattern of betting would vary till the last over. As of now, there is no evidence to prove the involvement of players with the bookies…this was not match fixing or spot-fixing,” she said.

Ms. Rajeswari said many punters lost substantial money but came back the next day to bet. “In some cases, the bookies cheated the punters by making them believe that some team would win the match. The instructions on organizing the betting came from the main operator in New Delhi. We are perusing the call details from the mobile and landline phones seized from the scene of crime.”

Betting was mainly through phone calls or agents. Money was paid in cash after the match. “We ask people who were cheated by bookies in the recently held IPL matches to come forward and lodge complaints. This case is based on information given by a punter who lost money,” Ms. Rajeswari said.

The bookies were remanded in judicial custody, CBCID sources added.

2 more held in Mumbai

Mumbai Staff Reporters writes:

The Mumbai police have arrested two more bookies, who were allegedly part of the IPL spot-fixing racket.

Pravin Ambalal Behra and Neeraj Shah were nabbed from the Bhandup and Kalachowki areas on Thursday night. Shah is said to be a SIM card dealer who allegedly provided SIM cards to bookies on fake documents. Both were remanded in police custody. The arrests came two days after the Mumbai police arrested bookies Ramesh Vyas, Ashok Vyas and Pandurang Kadam.