The Chennai hotelier was already questioned by Mumbai police

City-based hotelier Vikram Agarwal, wanted by the Crime Branch CID of the Tamil Nadu police in the cricket betting case, has sought time till June 5 to appear before the investigation officer. One of his family members met senior investigators at the CB CID headquarters here on Monday and gave an undertaking that Mr. Agarwal, who was questioned by the Mumbai Crime Branch in the last three days, would present himself for interrogation before Wednesday, agency sources said.

The CB CID summoned Mr. Agarwal after Uttam Jain alias Kitty, one of the bookies arrested in the case, told the police that he operated from a couple of hotels owned by the hotelier. By referring Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage taken from both the hotels to the Forensic Science Laboratory, police have obtained evidence to prove that bookies used the premises of Mr. Agarwal for betting, the sources said.

‘Rooms given free of cost to Kitty’

“Prima facie it appears that the rooms were given free of cost to Kitty for conducting the betting. His visits were not recorded in the log and the CCTV is designed to store backup only for the last 10 days. Since mobile phones and laptops/computers were used for betting, it would be possible to ascertain the activities of the suspects. We also have information that Mr. Agarwal participated in betting on some occasions. Knowing well that Kitty was a bookie, he allowed him to operate on his premises,” a CB CID official said.

The CB CID is coordinating with intelligence agencies in probing the role of bookies based in New Delhi and abroad. “Investigation has revealed that a website used for betting was hosted from the United Kingdom. The bookies took instructions from a kingpin on the quantum of bets … there is a possibility that the prime suspect could have links with those involved in spot or match-fixing,” the official said.

Known as ‘Victor’ among betting circles, Mr. Agarwal was summoned by the Mumbai Crime Branch for inquiry.

He is considered a close friend of CSK’s Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI president N. Srinivasan. The Mumbai police recorded his statements and allowed him to go.

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