Prashant, one of the prime suspects in the IPL spot-fixing case, has told investigators of the Crime Branch CID that IPL was not a money-spinning venture for bookies.
Having indulged in betting since 1997, the bookie, who has a sizeable number of punters across the country, claimed that fans could easily guess the winner in IPL matches and hence the quantum of betting was less compared to the conventional forms — test matches or one-day cricket — sources in the agency told The-Hindu on Tuesday.
CBCID teams searched the office premises of Prasant here and seized documents containing details of punters. “Most of his clients are businessmen based in Chennai and other metros. Since Prashant paid the winners promptly, he was among the most sought-after bookies,” a senior police official said.
Special teams are on the lookout for other bookies, Kitty and Sanjay Bafna. Bafna is believed to have gone to South Africa on a scheduled business trip. “Prashant said many bookies suffered losses in IPL betting. Some money came in only when both the teams playing the match were equally strong. Even on such occasions, the bookies took a risk as there will always be a nail-biting finish,” the official said.
Police were analysing laptops, mobile phones and other data seized from the possession or premises of the seven bookies. “So far, we have not come across the involvement of any player or team owner. It appears that the betting was purely based on the outcome of the match. There is no evidence of a spot or match fixing,” the official added. Prasanth was produced before a judicial magistrate and lodged in the Puzhal Central Prison here. Four others, already remanded in judicial custody in the case, were sent to police custody for further interrogation, the sources added.