First Bollywood link in IPL scandal surfaces
The Mumbai Police on Tuesday took into custody actor Vindoo Dara Singh Randhawa, son of the late wrestler-turned-actor Dara Singh, claiming that he used to lay bets and knew bookies.
This is the first Bollywood link busted after the scam broke out. Vindoo, a former “Bigg Boss” winner, was produced before the metropolitan magistrate court and slapped charges under Sections 420, 465, 467 and 468 of the IPC. He was sent to police custody till May 24.
When approached by the local media, the 49-year-old actor’s wife said: “I don't know what happened. I’m not in touch with him. I don’t even know where he is. I just picked my daughter from school.”
The police told the court that Randhawa used to lay bets and knew bookies. “But it is important to enquire whether he was using his contacts with players to spot-fix IPL matches,” sources said. Betting is rampant among the film fraternity. There is a strong likelihood of law-enforcing agencies arresting film personalities in the days to come.
The police also told the court that Randhawa’s phone records revealed that he was in touch with small-time bookie Ramesh Vyas, now in custody and the elusive Jupiter. While there is not much in the records to reveal Jupiter’s identity, both Delhi and Mumbai Police have named him in their respective case records.
“We need to know and find out the chain of people involved in the racket and we need to carry out custodial interrogation of Randhawa as he was into betting, and has been spotted many a times watching IPL matches and also frequenting post-match parties,” the remand application stated.
The Mumbai Police had earlier arrested six bookies—Ramesh Vyas, Pandurang Kadam, Ashok Vyas, Neeraj Shah, Pravin Bera and Pankaj Shah aka Lotus—in the IPL betting case.
The remand application for the six arrested bookies, submitted before the local court on Monday, argued that the accused were not only in touch with organised crime syndicates but also with Pakistani bookies. They have been sent to police custody till Wednesday.
A lookout notice has been issued for bookies known only by their nicknames, Malad M, Grant Road, X, Parlabhai, Rakesh, Sanjay, Noka (reportedly from Jaipur), Lokesh and Tinku (believed to be from Delhi), Kishore (from Pune), Jatin and Lambu (reportedly from Gujarat).
The police have also mentioned Trimurthi, Kothari, Shobhan, Paresh, Balu, Ketan and Bunty as mediators and handlers.
Police officials also hinted at the possible arrests of models, actors and casting agents who provided escort services at Page 3 parties. “We suspect that bookmakers used honey traps to lure IPL players into betting and spot-fixing,” they said.