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Cricket betting: ED to move court to probe UK-based online betting exchange

According to ED officials, in spite of a ban on the website, imposed by the Mumbai High Court in 2010, the website is still active.

Written by Khushboo Narayan | Mumbai |
June 18, 2015 3:43:48 am

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is planning to move court to investigate Betfair.com, an alleged online betting exchange based in UK, in connection with a multi-crore cricket betting case the agency is probing in Ahmedabad, said a top official.

The agency has initiated the process of issuing a Letter Rogatory — a formal request to a foreign court seeking judicial assistance in investigating an entity in another country — to a UK court to probe the role of Betfair in the racket.

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Betfair allegedly facilitated the operations of as many as one crore online betting accounts of users in India between 2013 and March 2015, said the ED official.

“According to Indian laws, money cannot be transferred by individuals and entities outside the country for the purpose of betting, which is illegal here. We suspect the money to open these accounts was transferred to Betfair through hawala channels,” said the official, adding that some of these accounts are still active.

According to ED officials, in spite of a ban on the website, imposed by the Mumbai High Court in 2010, the website is still active.
Emails and phone calls made to Betfair in UK for their response on the issue did not elicit any response.

According to Betfair’s website, the company clocked a revenue of 476.5 million pounds in 2014-15, up 21 per cent compared to the previous year, while the operating profit of the company went up by 53 per cent to 94.3 million pounds.

On Monday, the ED filed a chargesheet against seven persons, including one Girish Patel alias Tommy Patel, in connection with the case. The chargesheet claims that between November 2014 and March 2015, Tommy Patel’s total turnover of “bets squared off “ stood at Rs 2,800 crore and he made a net profit of Rs 14 crore.  “We are yet to look into the turnover of other bookies who have been arrested,” the ED official said.

Meanwhile, a special court has issued an arrest warrant against Anil Jaisinghani, allegedly the key bookie in the betting case, who has been summoned twice by the ED but has failed to appear before the agency. “DGP Maharashtra is in the process of serving the warrant to him,” said the ED official.

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