CBI launches probe into Pakistan-linked IPL betting syndicates

The accused allegedly influenced the outcome of matches based on inputs from Pakistan

Published - May 14, 2022 06:28 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The accused, in the garb of betting related to IPL matches, were cheating people by inducing them to place bets.

The accused, in the garb of betting related to IPL matches, were cheating people by inducing them to place bets.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered two cases to probe the syndicates that allegedly organised betting on cricket matches in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) and influenced the outcome of matches based on inputs from Pakistan.

The agency conducted searches on the premises of the accused persons at seven locations in Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Hyderabad, an official said on Saturday.

In the first case, the CBI has named Sajjan Singh, Prabhu Lal Meena, Ram Avtar and Amit Kumar Sharma, all residents of Rajasthan. They have been accused of being part of a network that was involved in betting on 2019 IPL matches held in Delhi.

According to the first information report (FIR), the accused, in the garb of betting related to IPL matches, were cheating the people by inducing them to place bets.

In connivance with bank officials, the accused opened “mule” bank accounts using forged identification documents to evade detection.

The agency said that a part of the money received from people in India was also being shared with the syndicate members operating from other countries through “hawala” channels. The network had been running the racket since 2010.

As alleged, along with others, Mr. Singh was in contact with one Pakistani suspect who called them on phone through a Pakistani number. The accused operated multiple accounts in at least three banks. While the transactions were circular in nature, more than ₹33.23 lakh was credited in the accounts from 2010-11 to 2019-20.

Mr. Meena was also involved in routing the funds for various illegal purposes and operated accounts in five banks, which recorded deposits to the tune of ₹45.10 lakh from 2012-13 to 2018-19.

“The maximum cash deposited in these accounts are of pan-India nature, which substantiates the allegation of these unusual financial transactions being linked to cricket betting and other criminal activities,” the FIR said.

The second case involving similar allegations is against one Dileep Kumar from Delhi, and Gurram Satish and Gurram Vasu from Hyderabad, Telangana, pertaining to the IPL matches held in 2019.

This network was active since 2013. The accused were in contact with a Pakistani suspect named Waqas Malik, who would give instructions to Mr. Kumar and Mr. Satish through another Pakistani phone number.

Those named in the FIR had also opened accounts with at least six banks, mostly using forged documents that were not verified by the bank officials concerned.

Since 2013, Mr. Kumar had received about ₹43 lakh in the accounts operated by him, while those linked to Mr. Satish had cash deposits of over ₹4.55 crore and ₹3.05 lakh from overseas from 2012-13 to 2019-20. The domestic deposits in the accounts operated by Mr. Satish amount to about ₹5.37 crore from 2012-13 to 2019-20, as alleged.

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