In fresh trouble, Sreesanth under Mumbai police scanner

Staff Reporter
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Mumbai suburban hotel raided; bowler’s laptop, diary seized

Rajasthan Royals paceman S. Sreesanth could be in fresh trouble. He could be made an accused in another case of spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) currently being probed by the Mumbai police.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy on Saturday said the Mumbai police may seek to interrogate Sreesanth after investigating details from his laptop and diary. Mr. Roy said the court had given the police permission to obtain a ‘mirror image’ of the laptop and Sreesanth’s mobile phone.

Sreesanth is currently in Delhi police custody along with two other franchisee colleagues.

The Mumbai police on Friday night conducted a raid in a five-star hotel in suburban Mumbai. According to Mr. Roy, Sreesanth and his conduit Jiju Janardanan had booked a room each in the hotel and stayed there on the night of May 13.

The authorities had arrested three bookies from South Mumbai, namely Ramesh Vyas, Ashok Vyas and Pandurang Kadam on May 14. It had seized 92 mobile phones, 18 SIM cards, an account book, 13 papers mentioning the details about bookies, and six chequebooks and cash. 30 of these mobiles were used by Ramesh Vyas to make phone calls to Pakistan and Dubai, who worked as a facilitator for bookies from India, Pakistan and Dubai. They were brought into contact through conference call. The noting made on Vyas’ papers mentions the names of ‘Tinku Delhi’ and ‘Jupiter’ who are wanted by the Mumbai Police and are also named in the case of spot-fixing probed by the Delhi Police, in which the cricketer has been arrested. “These names are not only in the call list but also in account books and financial transactions,” claimed Mr. Roy.

“We are going deep into the investigation and he [Sreesanth] might be booked if need be,” he said.

The police have recovered a laptop, an iPad, a blackberry mobile phone, one SIM card, a Tata Photon data card, three diaries, cash worth Rs.72,290 and one U.S. dollar from the cricketer’s room, along with his clothes. While blackberry mobile phone, iPad and clothes were recovered from the bookie’s room.

“We received information from our sources that the cricketer had independently booked a room in a five-star hotel [in the city], as his team was not staying in that hotel. The rooms were booked through Tamarind Tours and Travels. We have reasons to believe that he stayed in the hotel on May 13,” said Mr. Roy. He said that the seized material is of extreme importance and the police authorities are currently in the course of obtaining information from it. The police are also in the process of obtaining CCTV footage from the hotel to check who had come to the hotel to visit the sportsman. Mr. Roy, however, said Sreesanth would be made accused in the Mumbai case only after careful investigation of diaries and laptop seized from his hotel room. “The writing on a diary, part of which is in Malayalam, is currently being scrutinised. We have obtained permission from the court to take a mirror image of the laptop and mobile, which will give us more details,” he said.

When asked about the ‘honey trap’ used by bookies to lure the players into fixing and the involvement of Bollywood celebrities and other businessmen in spot-fixing, the police official said such details would only come out subsequent to deep investigation.

Sixth bookie arrested

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police on Saturday arrested a sixth bookie — 52-year-old Pankaj Dhanji Shah alias Lotus alias Babbu — from the Mulund area of Mumbai. He has been sent to police custody till May 22. The police have seized two mobile phones from him which were used for betting.

  • Sreesanth stayed in the hotel on May 13 night independent of his teammates

  • The seized material is of extreme importance, says JCP Himanshu Roy

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