Betting: Police mull over ED probe

 The district police, who recently busted a cricket betting racket, are contemplating to hand over its probe to Enforcement Directorate (ED) as huge money has been transacted in the racket.

SP K Annamalai said, “It is being thought over to hand over the probe to ED after gleaning information related to bank transactions and also property details of all those suspected to be involved in the racket.”

The SP felt that if such betting racket has to rooted out completely, handing over the case to ED is the only way to facilitate confiscation of ill-gotten wealth belonging to the suspects. But it may take some time. Otherwise, it will be easy for perpetrators to continue with such activities as there are no stringent laws in the Karnataka Police Act. Though many are arrested in betting cases, they come out of bail in the absence of stringent laws, he added.

What has taken the investigators aback is the growing information on a mix of nouveau riche who were till a few years ago were struggling to eke out a living. More than 12 such people who recently acquired wealth through illegal means have come to the notice of investigators, who now live in a posh bungalows and own sites at prime locations, besides having gold and agricultural fields.

According to a source, a groccery shop owner till a decade-and-half ago, now owns assets worth Rs 3 crore, all reaped through betting. As a cover, he has invested in hotel industry and also takes up works on contracts. The credit of introducting cricket betting in the district goes to a cloth merchant, whose assets are valued at over Rs 4 crore, the source added.

The CID personnel had interrogated the merchant in connection with DySP Kallappa Handibag’s suicide case. Another such story of rag-to-riches is that of a cleaner at club in the city, whose assets are valued at Rs 8 crore to Rs 10 crore. He lives in a palatial bungalow valued at Rs 2.5 crore. When he was interrogated during Handibag’s case, he had given his ill-gotten wealth, including cash and gold to his relatives place fearing raid.

Likewise, the list goes on with many finding sudden change in fortune.

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