Mumbai: Multi-crore cricket betting racket busted, two bookies arrestedhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/mumbai-multi-crore-cricket-betting-racket-busted-two-bookies-arrested-5796177/

Mumbai: Multi-crore cricket betting racket busted, two bookies arrested

The accused were identified as Vishwas Takalkar (51), a resident of Dongri, and Ajay Kantraj (24), who told police that he ran a garment export business out of Bengaluru.

Police said the accused had accepted bets averaging between Rs 60 and Rs 2 crore during each match.

Police arrested two men on Saturday for allegedly accepting and placing bets on ICC Cricket World Cup matches underway in the UK.

The accused were identified as Vishwas Takalkar (51), a resident of Dongri, and Ajay Kantraj (24), who told police that he ran a garment export business out of Bengaluru.

According to police, they received information that guests staying at Hotel Balwas on Grant Road were betting on cricket matches, following which a team, headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Anti-Narcotics Cell) Shivdeep Lande, raided room 203 at the establishment.

Police said they found two men accepting bets on the game between New Zealand and West Indies, which was in progress at the time at Old Trafford in Manchester, UK.

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Police also seized eight mobile phones, on which the bookies were accepting bets from punters as well as a television screen on which they were watching the match.

“We are looking for one more person who was providing ball-by-ball information to the accused. They were in turn conveying rates to punters over phone calls,” said a senior police officer.

Police said they also found a diary in which the bookies had noted down detailed entries of the amounts placed by each punter on 10 matches played between June 12 and 22.

“The diary shows that the accused placed bets amounting to Rs 14 crore on matches from June 12 onwards. There is another diary which has details of bets placed on matches played between May 30 and June 12 that the accused claim to have destroyed,” added the officer.

Police said the accused had accepted bets averaging between Rs 60 and Rs 2 crore during each match. “On Saturday, punters had chosen to place bets on the match between New Zealand and West Indies as they offered better rates and were confident that it would be a close and exciting match. They had chosen to ignore the game between India and Afghanistan as everyone believed that India will win comfortably,” added the officer.

Police also said entries in the diary showed that bets totalling Rs 2.62 crore were placed on the June 19 match between New Zealand and South Africa, while bets amounting to Rs 2.36 crore were placed on the June 17 match between West Indies and Bangladesh.

England vs West Indies (June 14) and England vs Australia (June 18) received a comparatively lukewarm response from punters, with bets of Rs 64 lakh and Rs 39.5 lakh being placed.

The accused were produced before the court on Sunday and remanded in judicial custody. Police told the court that Kantraj had booked a room online at the hotel on May 30 and paid Rs 14,000 for a six-day stay. “The accused was staying at the hotel for at least twenty days,” said the official.