Updated: May 21, 2015 2:11:34 am
As many as six senior IPS officers serving the Karnataka police have come under the scanner in an investigation being conducted by the Criminal Investigation Department of the state police on links between senior officers and a mafia running illegal lotteries in the state.
The CID investigation was ordered by the Karnataka government after a sting operation by a local channel on the illegal lottery business in the state two months ago caught an alleged lottery middleman bragging on camera about his links to top police officers in the state and his capacity to ensure protection to the illegal lottery racket.
The investigation, CID sources said, had revealed communication links between a key operator of the illegal lottery business and several top officers including late night calls on personal phones as well as on on home telephones, and the telephones of spouses and children.
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The issue of the alleged links between senior IPS officers and the lottery mafia was raised by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at a recent meeting of the senior officers of the Karnataka police department.
The CID has been asked to pursue the case strongly, CID sources said. So far the police department has suspended one superintendent of police of the lottery enforcement wing R Dharnendra after he was named by an alleged lottery middleman as a key associate.
“There have been instances where illegal operators have been calling police officers and vice versa in the middle of the night, on phones of family members etc. In one instance, a senior officer spent an entire day with a lottery agent at the time of the demise of a family member of the agent. The government is concerned about this association and has asked the CID to probe,” CID sources said.
The names of well-known lottery operator Santiago Martin who is known popularly as the “Lottery King” against whom the CBI has filed several cases for defrauding the Sikkim government to the tune of Rs 4,500 crore has emerged in the investigations in Karnataka, sources said.
Lotteries are banned in Karnataka but an underground network of operators and lottery agents continue to allegedly run the business with the police turning a blind eye to the existence of the racket.
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