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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Mumbai: Former cricketer, 4 others held on kidnapping charge

The police said the five accused have been identified as former cricketer Robin Morris, Gravin D’souza, Ahmed Ali Ansari, Alex Miranda and Rupesh Bhimani.

Written by Mohamed Thaver , Sagar Rajput | Mumbai | Updated: December 5, 2019 9:49:07 am
The five were picked up by police from Versova on November 30 after they allegedly kidnapped a loan agent and kept him confined at Morris’ home in Versova. (Representative Image) The five were picked up by police from Versova on November 30 after they allegedly kidnapped a loan agent and kept him confined at Morris’ home in Versova.

The Kurla police has arrested five persons, including a former first class cricketer, for allegedly kidnapping a 43-year-old loan agent from a restaurant near Kurla station.

The police said the five accused have been identified as former cricketer Robin Morris, Gravin D’souza, Ahmed Ali Ansari, Alex Miranda and Rupesh Bhimani. The five were picked up by police from Versova on November 30 after they allegedly kidnapped a loan agent and kept him confined at Morris’ home in Versova.

Morris, aged 53, has played in T20 matches along with List A matches for India. He was previously caught in a sting operation for allegedly doctoring pitch conditions for betting purposes in three cricket matches, including India vs Sri Lanka, India vs England and India vs Australia.

The Internation Cricket Council had launched an investigation into claims of his involvement in pitch-fixing. Known as an attacking batsman and a medium-paced bowler, he played over 40 first class matches.

An officer from Kurla police station told The Indian Express, “Morris wanted a loan of Rs 3 crore a few years ago. He got in touch with the complainant (loan agent) through a mutual friend.” The loan agent placed a demand of Rs 7 lakh as commission for getting Morris’ loan sanctioned, and after an agreement between the two, Morris handed him his commission amount.

Senior police inspector Dattatrey Shinde said, “The complainant took the commission but failed to provide Rs 3 crore loan sanction to Morris. Morris had been asking him to return the commission since more than a year.”

According to police, the loan agent managed to return Rs 5.5 lakh to Morris. “He was delaying in returning the rest. Eventually Morris along with his four accomplices decided to call him to a restaurant in Kurla and forcefully took him to Versova,” a police officer said.

After the 43-year-old loan agent arrived, Morris and his friends forced him into a cab and took him to the former’s residence in Versova. They then called the loan agent’s family members and demanded the remaining Rs 1.5 lakh. “They asked his family to get the amount to Versova. The family instead approached us and we registered a case. Simultaneously we dispatched a team to Morris’ residence and got hold of them,” said an officer.

The five accused have been booked under relevant sections of kidnapping, criminal intimidation, wrongful confinement and voluntarily causing hurt for the purpose of extorting.

In the betting case where Morris was caught on sting camera in 2018, he was seen introducing the assistant manager at the Galle stadium to an undercover reporter and spoke about doctoring pitch.

Morris, who quit cricket at 31, has been caught saying on camera that they have connections to fix pitches through groundsmen.

He even told undercover reporters that he bribed the groundsman at Galle to doctor the pitch to ensure match-fixers large sums of money from betting.

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