Three bookies were arrested and several others were detained by a Special Task Force and the Kanpur police on Thursday at hotel Landmark, where Indian Premier League teams and senior members of the Board of Control for Cricket in India were staying. Kanpur Additional Superintendent of Police Akash Kulhari said that they had received information that a group of people were involved in IPL betting at the hotel, which had been tracked down by the BCCI’s vigilance team.
The arrests have left both security agencies and the BCCI red-faced since the bookies had managed to enter the hotel at a time when security was tight. The arrests were made the night of an IPL match in the city, between the Mumbai and Punjab teams.
In the raids, the police seized Rs 4.5 lakh in cash, two laptops, four mobile phones, calculators and internet dongle from the accused, who were handed over to the Kotwali police. Two IPL teams, the Gujarat Lions and Delhi Daredevils, were staying in the hotel when the raid took place. The police, however, refuted allegations that any cricketers or BCCI staff were involved in the betting.
“After checking the veracity of the information we conducted a raid and arrested three persons from the spot including one Nayan Shah and Ramesh Kumar. Few others too have been detained and are being interrogated,” Kulhari said, adding that the accused were operating from room number 1173 of the hotel.
“They used to record the conversation/communication of other bookies and maintain a record in laptops. They used to bet on each match, and sometimes on each over and ball and run. The bookies used to collect money the following day from the people who lose,” he said.
According to the police, the bookies use to bet on the basis of pitch conditions. The investigating officers said the accused had networks in Delhi, NCR and other parts of the country. They used to allegedly contact potential bookies online and fix a rate for certain matches. They were also said to have connected with potential bookies through mobile phones and emails.
One of the men arrested, Ramesh Kumar, worked at the Green Park sports stadium in Kanpur. He is said to have shared information about the condition of the pitch with bookies. Kumar had also shared pictures of the pitch to others accused from his mobile phone.