Gurunath Meiyappan,the son-in-law of BCCI president N Srinivasan and the head of the Chennai Super Kings IPL team,allegedly placed large bets on matches involving his team as well as those of other teams in the league.
While he generally won bets he placed on CSK matches,he often suffered losses on matches of other teams,Mumbai Police sources claimed Saturday.
Crime Branch officers investigating the IPL spot-fixing case said that since Meiyappan was privy to the team composition in CSK matches and injuries to players,it was necessary to ascertain whether he passed on inside information that could have been used for placing bets.
At this stage,we are aware that Meiyappan had placed large bets on IPL matches,and we are definitely aware that one of the persons he placed these bets through was Vindoo, said a Crime Branch officer,referring to Vindoo Randhawa,the small-time actor son of wrestler-actor Dara Singh,who is also in custody for his alleged role in the racket.
Maybe there were others he placed bets through. Being closely associated with the team,it was not easy for him to be directly talking to bookies as he would have been exposed. Therefore,he used Vindoo as a go-between or conduit, he alleged.
The officers claimed that Meiyappan had admitted to having placed bets through Vindoo. Meiyappan was betting on CSK,as well as on other teams. While he generally won on CSK matches,he had suffered losses on bets placed on other teams. He had placed bets ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. He has also placed bets during past seasons of the IPL, he added.
Meiyappan was confronted with Vindoo at the Mumbai Police headquarters Saturday evening after being remanded in police custody until May 29 by a local court. Crime Branch sources said Meiyappan has claimed that he now suspects that Vindoo was using him to extract inside information.
There is a clear difference between an ordinary punter placing bets and a person who has knowledge of the composition of a team,the seriousness of an injury to a particular player and whether such a player will take the field. In such a situation,we need to investigate deeply and thoroughly whether such information has in any way been used for placing bets. We will obviously take a different view on Meiyappan as compared to a person who is placing bets without inside information, said the officer.
Crime Branch sources also said they were carefully scrutinising records of calls exchanged between Vindoo and Meiyappan to ascertain whether they were in touch with each other during the four strategic time-outs in IPL matches.
If it is found that Meiyappan and Vindoo had exchanged several calls that coincide with the timing of strategic time-outs during IPL matches,this would have serious implications, said the officer.
Meanwhile,the Crime Branch has seized two bags containing expensive jeans,shirts and watches that were allegedly sent to Delhi by bookies Pawan and Sanjay Jaipur for Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf.
After Rauf left Mumbai in haste,Pawan and Sanjay Jaipur had sent the shopping bags to Delhi. These bags were recovered by us from the cargo hold at the Delhi airport,before they could be sent to the hotel where Rauf was meant to receive them, said the officer.
There have been instances of impropriety on the part of Rauf,as he accepted gifts from bookies like Vindoo and Pawan Jaipur. We are probing whether Rauf had passed on inside information or had influenced matches through wrong decisions, the officer added.
Crime Branch sources also alleged that Vindoo,Pawan and Sanjay booked hotel rooms for Rauf during the umpires visits to Mumbai.