Spot-fixing scandal: Meiyappan arrested, admits to betting

CSK says he is not owner, CEO or principal of team

Spot-fixing scandal: Meiyappan arrested, admits to betting

Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI President N Srinivasan and owner of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), was arrested here on Friday night for his alleged involvement in betting on IPL matches, raising questions over the future of the franchise.

“We have interrogated Gurunath based on information we have. We have found his involvement in the offence related to IPL betting case. We have placed him under arrest", Joint Commissioner (Crime) of Mumbai Police Himanshu Roy told reporters.

The 35-year-old Gurunath was summoned by the Mumbai Police for questioning after actor Vindoo Dara Singh alleged that he was involved in betting.

Gurunath flew to Mumbai here by a chartered aircraft from Madurai along with his lawyers and a secretary.

He was taken from the Mumbai airport to the crime branch headquarters and subjected to interrogation before being arrested.Gurunath was arrested after nearly three hours of questioning that began at 9.30 pm, Roy said adding he will be produced before a metropolitan court on Saturday.

The honcho of CSK, twice IPL champions, Gurunath, was in the eye of a huge storm after actor and TV reality show winner Vindoo admitted to having placed bets on his behalf.

Vindoo was allegedly in "frequent touch" with Gurunath during the IPL matches and was claimed to have told the crime branch that the CSK owner had lost Rs 1 crore through betting.

The crime branch, according to sources, had call data records of conversations between Vindoo and Meiyappan and they were learnt to have confronted the two with the transcripts.

Though Roy did not say during his post-arrest media briefing about whether Meiyappan was also involved in spot-fixing of IPL matches, he had earlier said strong suspicions did exist.

"We suspect Meiyappan gave inside information to arrested actor Vindoo Randhawa who passed on those to the bookies," Roy had told reporters ahead of Meiyappan's questioning.

With Meiyappan's arrest, the pressure on Srinivasan for his resignation is set to mount further as several of his rivals in the cricket establishment have already started gunning for him.

Vindoo, whose police remand was today extended by a metropolitan court till May 28 following crime branch's prayer so that he could be confronted with Meiyappan, was alleged to have placed bets through absconding bookies Jupiter, Pavan Jaipur and Sanjay Jaipur. Vindoo himself also used to accept bets from others and forwarded them to these men.

The actor, who has emerged as a key figure in the betting scandal, according to crime branch, had facilitated the escape of Pawan and Sanjay to Dubai as the bookies faced the heat following unravelling of the spot-fixing scam by Delhi Police with the arrest of three Rajasthan Royals players including India speedster S Sreesanth.

He is also alleged to have sent a parcel to controversial Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf on behalf of bookie Pawan Jaipur, which is yet to be traced by the crime branch.

In attempts to cut losses, India Cements, which owns Chennai Superkings and is run by Srinivasan, sought to distance itself from Gurunath, saying he is neither the owner nor the CEO or the Team Principal of CSK.

"Mr Gurunath is only one of the Members (Honorary) of the Management team of CSK. India Cements follows zero tolerance policy and if anyone is proved guilty, strict action will be taken immediately.

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