Telangana

28 punters held in Hyderabad star hotel

While the kingpin is at large, two organisers and 6 workers were also nabbed

A gang of gambling operators who were organising the game of cards in a five-star hotel and serving imported liquor and hookah to punters - was busted by Hyderabad Task Force police on Friday.

After raiding Hotel Marriott abutting the Tank Bund on a tip-off, the police caught two organisers - Chikoti Praveen Kumar, 40, and Babulal Agarwal, 45, six workers and 28 punters. An amount of ₹23.37 lakh was seized from them.

“Kingpin Sanjay Jain is still at large,” Task Force Additional DCP C. Shashidhar Raju said. Jain and his associates rented a suit in the hotel. They arranged tables in the two rooms and hall of the suit for punters to indulge in gambling to play card games by betting money.

They would collect ₹ 3,000 for a game from each punter. They hired six workers to be attend to the punters in order to attend to their needs - like serving liquor or cigarettes. “The organisers secured imported whiskey bottles like Chivas Regal and Black Label. They created a club with five-star facilities,” Mr. Raju explained. The suit was hired three days ago. Earlier, gambling with games of cards was organised in some clubs and private buildings by some gangs. They would arrange food, liquor, cigarettes and even pan masala for the punters to make them comfortable.

The organisers would collect money for each game from the punters and thus make huge money within a short time. “Addicted to this, many persons were frequenting such clubs and began losing hard-earned money. This spoilt many families,” the police said.

Responding to the criticism from several quarters about families being ruined by gambling, the State Government cracked down on gambling three years ago. With the message from the officials loud and clear, the organisers stopped openly organising such events.

The absconding Sanjay Jain came up with the idea of arranging the game of cards in a five-star hotel and apparently believed that it was a safer place, away from police watch. To attract more punters, he arranged imported whiskey, hookah facility to smoke, and even pan masala was served to the punters.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 9:03:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/28-punters-held-in-city-star-hotel/article19892475.ece

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