Bollywood actor-producer Arbaaz Khan has confessed to the Thane Police Anti-Extortion Cell on Saturday of his involvement in betting on Indian Premier League (IPL) matches. He was questioned for over four hours at the Thane AEC office. Thane Police sources also informed that Arbaaz and the accused bookie, Sonu Jalan aka Sonu Malad, were brought face-to-face during the interrogation. It was then that Arbaaz confessed about his betting involvement.
He also allegedly said that he lost about 2.75 crores to bookie Sonu Jalan in bets on IPL matches last year. However, the actor did not pay the amount to Sonu, post which he allegedly started threatening Arbaaz for recovering the amount.
The 50-year-old actor-producer also admitted that he knew the main accused Sonu Jalan for six years. Senior Police Inspector and encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma heads the Thane Anti Extortion Cell. Some sources also added that the cops had recovered many documents and diaries from Sonu that allegedly consists names of many eminent personalities who can also be part of the IPL betting scam.
“During questioning 10-15 more names have cropped up but none from Bollywood. Will call him again if need be,” said Pradeep Kumar, Investigating Officer.
Speaking to the media after his interrogation, Arbaaz Khan said, “I answered all the questions asked by police. It’s an ongoing investigation and i will continue to co-operate with the probe.”
Sarkar movie producer Parag Sanghvi, CEO of Alumbra Entertainment & Lotus Film Company and former MD of media company K. Sera Sera, has also has been called in for questioning. Meanwhile, Sonu Jalan’s police custody has been extended till June 6.
Earlier in the day, IPL commissioner Rajeev Shukla said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has nothing to do with actor/film producer Arbaaz Khan being summoned by Thane Anti-Extortion Cell. “The matter is with the police, we have nothing to do with it. Both BCCI & ICC have anti-corruption units, police can coordinate with them,” Shukla is quoted as saying by ANI. ALSO READ: Matter with the police, they can coordinate with BCCI, ICC anti-corruption units, says Rajeev Shukla
On Friday, Thane Police had summoned Arbaaz Khan to join their investigation in connection with an alleged betting racket during the Indian Premier League (IPL) season that ended last Sunday. According to police, the actor’s name allegedly came up during the interrogation of Sonu Jalan alias Sonu Malad, a bookie “with international links”. Police claimed to have allegedly found details of financial dealings between Khan and Jalan.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Abhishek Trimukhe said that Arbaaz Khan, the elder brother of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan, has been called to join the probe Saturday.
“Jalan has claimed that the actor placed bets through him. We have got details about some financial dealings between Khan and Jalan. Hence, we want him to clarify as to the nature of his financial transactions with Jalan,” a senior officer said.
Another officer linked to the probe said that according to Jalan, Khan allegedly placed bets initially and incurred major losses. He is then alleged to have placed more bets in which he recovered the money. “We have to verify these claims,” the officer said.
Jalan is believed to be linked to wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim and several other international bookies. He was arrested by Mumbai Police in 2012 for betting on IPL matches and released on bail. There were also allegations of Jalan having been been involved in match-fixing.
Jalan was arrested by the CBI in 2016 in connection with a bribery case against a former joint director of Enforcement Directorate in Ahmedabad. It was alleged that the official extorted money from those accused of money laundering in the IPL betting racket.
(With ENS inputs)