Rajasthan Royals pacer S. Sreesanth and his two teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, who were arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell in Mumbai in the early hours of Thursday for alleged involvement in spot-fixing, were in touch with bookies suspected to have links with a betting racket run at the behest of Pakistan-based underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
It is learnt that four bookies operating from Mumbai and three in Delhi have also been detained for questioning.The breakthrough by the Special Cell was achieved following a tip-off that was developed by electronic surveillance expert Inspector Badrish Dutt, who was found dead along with his live-in partner at her Gurgaon residence on Saturday. Over three dozen phone calls originating from Pakistan, Dubai, Mumbai and Delhi were intercepted and analysed for clues.
The police zeroed in on the suspects after they gathered at Sahara Mall in Gurgaon to finalise the rates at which they would fix spots during the matches. It is learnt that the Special Cell has gathered enough evidence to prove that the players allegedly indulged in spot-fixing after arriving at an agreement with the bookies.While sources said the rate agreed upon between the players and the bookies was Rs. 20-25 lakh per spot-fixing, the police said.
According to police sources, Sreesanth was picked up by a Special Cell team fro his friend’s residence in Mumbai. While his disappearance from Wankhede Stadium during the IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians took many by surprise on Wednesday, it was shortly before the match that the Indian pacer was detained by the police for questioning.At his purported disclosure, the Special Cell team arrested his two other teammates from Trident Hotel at Nariman Point around 2.30 a.m. on Thursday. Some bookies were also rounded up in Mumbai and Delhi for questioning in this connection.
One of the middlemen under the police scanner is said to be a cousin of Sreesanth, whereas another had been operating under codename Jupiter. While seven bookies have so far been identified who were allegedly in contact with the Rajasthan Royals pacer and his teammates, the police suspect that Sreesanth had played a pivotal role in bringing them together and hatching a conspiracy for spot fixing during the ongoing IPL series.Further investigations are under way to ascertain whether more IPL players have been involved in spot- fixing. – TheHindu