Probe agencies vie for credit in IPL spot-fixing case

Probe agencies vie for credit in IPL spot-fixing case

Probe agencies vie for credit in IPL spot-fixing case

A mad scramble is on among the various law-enforcing agencies to grab the credit for busting the IPL betting and spot-fixing racket.

The scandal has hit headlines after the arrest of cricketers, BCCI chief N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, actor Vindoo Dara Singh Randhawa and illegal book-makers.

While Delhi Police stole the thunder by successfully carrying out a secret operation, Mumbai Police followed suit in creating maximum media impact by zeroing in on small-time actor Vindoo Dara Singh Randhawa, known as an addicted gambler in the film circles. On Sunday, local media was abound with “leaks” from various police agencies trying to stake a claim for furnishing the first lead in the IPL betting racket.

However, officials of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), who spoke on condition of anonymity, burst the Mubai Police’s (Detection Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation) bubble by disclosing that the first alert came from the terror-tracking cell.

Though the ATS is an independent department, it falls under the purview of state police and reportedly collaborates with intelligence agencies and police from other states. Going by the rumours making rounds in the police circles, it appears that the ATS, while trying to find whether a financial nexus existed between betting syndicates, Pakistan-links and terror capsules, recorded conversation of several illegal book-makers and addicted punters.The tapping led to Vindoo Dara Singh Randhawa and it was during one such interception that the ATS officials stumbled upon conversations between the actor and Meiyappan.

The ATS recorded scores of conversations between the duo and in the second week of May, the transcripts were handed over to the Mumbai DCB-CID.

Apparently, Mumbai Police did not take cognisance of these recordings till third week of May when two youths, arrested for abduction and murder of a teenager, confessed that they were neck-deep in debt after losing in the bets they had placed on IPL matches. In a bid to stem possible criticism, the police then swung into action, carrying out a raid on history-sheeters and seizing mobile phones, SIM cards and cash of Rs 60,000 from a building in south-central Mumbai.

However, even as the city police released statement about arrests, raids and seizures late at night, next morning, top Mumbai Police officials woke up with a jolt when they came to know about Delhi Police taking into custody IPL players S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila.