Hyderabad police swoop down on 3

Hyderabad police have smashed a cricket betting racket involving many matches in the last two years but they have not established any links with any of the IPL players.

The police arrested three persons and seized equipment including a mini-phone exchange installed at an apartment in the posh Jubilee Hills locality in their second crack on cricket betting in one week. They had nabbed five people early this week while they were taking bets on the IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore, using hi-tech electronic gadgets.

The police alleged that V Rama Raju, K Srinivasa Rao and V Prudhvi Raju hailing from West Godavari district had launched  this operation after they ‘failed’ in chit fund business.The group had covered nearly 150 matches over the past two years, said West Zone DCP G Sudheer Babu, who monitored and led the raids.

Babu said betting operators were accepting bets from punters on the IPL cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Pune Warriors on Wednesday when a special police party raided a building in Jubilee Hills. “Interestingly, this gang paid the punters through banks,” a surprised  police official said. Police have launched a  probe into banking transactions now.
The group had set up a mini-telephone exchange line box to connect to 20 mobile phones simultaneously to make calls  all over country.They would watch the cricket match from their apartment and announce to the punters through the link box on how the match was progressing and invite bets.

This is the seventh cricket betting racket smashed in Andhra Pradesh since the commencement of  IPL-6 and police said they had stalled the operation of nearly Rs 22 crore during the raids.

Cricket betting has become a lucrative profession in the coastal Andhra and commercial districts of Rayalaseema. Anantapur and Kadapa Hyderabad had their own share in match-fixing with former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin’s case in the late 1990s.

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