Theres been no dearth of drama already on the fringes of the biggest scandal to hit the IPL. The Indian Express digs into the chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police last week and discover the bookies affliction for vada pavs,the Pakistani interest and stories behind the SIMs.
Not so Shudh Dara
When Vindoo Dara Singh met bookie Anand Saxena at a party in 1993,he was still a struggling actor. A year later he would make his on-screen debut in a movie called Karan. What brought Saxena and Vindoo together though was his penchant to dabble in betting on horse-races,cricket matches.
And for the next decade,according to Saxena’s statement in the chargesheet,he would place bets on cricket matches through the Delhi-based bookie. Saxena though claims to have brought his 16-year bookie career to a close in the early 2000s following the fixing scandal.Saxena made Bollywood contacts through his client and even produced a few tele-serials,which Vindoo acted in.
Then in 2003 Saxena met bookie Prem Taneja during a party in Delhi. Soon after,he introduced him to Vindoo. He also got the actor in touch with other noted bookies like Pawan and Sanjay Jaipur,Sundar and Surendra Kalra or Mandi. Saxena also said that he was aware that Vindoo had begun indulging in betting with the Jaipur brothers and also with his old Mumbai contacts,Shobhan Mehta and Devendra Kothari.
Meiyappans sense of timing
There’s a pattern in which Gurunath Meiyappan relayed information to the bookies during the matches. The team principal of Chennai Super Kings,also the son-in-law of BCCI chief N Srinivasan,waited either till the end of an innings or the match,depending on the nature of the bets,before passing on the information to the bookies.
For instance,on May 12 during the match between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur,Meiyappan who sat near the team dug-out – called Vindoo Dara Singh at 20:58 and informed him that his side would score 130-140 runs. Curiously,CSK ended up scoring 141. The police say this information is useful to the bookies for ‘session betting’. Meiyappan later informed Vindoo that Royals will win the match,which they did by five wickets. On another occasion,Meiyappan informed Vindoo on May 13 at 22:54 that Mumbai Indians will lose against Sun Risers.
He,however,did not get it right always. On May 14,he informed Vindoo at 9.59 am that the match between CSK and Delhi Daredevils will not be held as they managed a stadium stability certificate. Later that afternoon,an angry Vindoo told Meiyappan (sic) you are the boss go there what those people is thinking I want exactly. The match finally took place and was won by CSK.
OBSESSION with city-based names isn’t restricted to the IPL teams. Apparently,alleged bookies and punters also fancy tagging their city-names to their nefarious money-making monikers. So while the jeweller brothers Sandeep and Sanjay Chhabra took on the handles Pawan Jaipur and Sanjay Jaipur while being in the forefront of the scandal,the chargesheet is littered with names of punters whose identities are linked inescapably to their cities. Keshubhai Badlani fetches up as Keshu Pune,Surendra Kalra is Mandi Delhi,Ritesh Bansal is Bharat Dilli and Ashwani Aggarwal who helped joined the dots for the Delhi cops is Tinku Delhi. A few like sessions bookie Chandresh Aggarwal Jain of Jaipur went galactic with a name like Jupiter,a small-time Mumbai bookie Kishore stayed suitably on the fringes,taking on the handle of ‘Pluto’.
Raju Ratlam. Sunil Ajmer. Chhotu Nagpur. Ashish Ahmedabad. SP Bhatinda. Lovely Jaipur. Mumbai’s bookies seem to be taking deeper pride in their suburbian labels Samir Vikhroli,Yousuf Bhandup,Vasant Karjat,Ashok Bhayender,Jatin Goregaon.
Bets on vada pav
THE ubiquitous Vada Pav can never be too far away from Mumbai. The patented snack,dubbed the Bombay Burger,though could also have been the comfort food for a bunch of prominent bookies.
For Vindoo Dara Singh in particular,biting into a Vada Pav helped him deal with the stresses of sitting around with his buddies in a plush hotel betting huge sums of money on live matches,based on the versions of Gandhi Singh and Maheshchandra Mishra,who worked as drivers for the tele-actor,in the Mumbai Police chargesheet.
Vindoo: Tu chala gaya na…
Mishra: Haan leke jaa raha hoon unko….
Vindoo: Haan jab tu waapas aa raha hoga na…toh dus….bees pav vade….
Mishra: Haan ji…haan
Vindoo: Aur paanch,cheh….va…pav bhajia le aana sab….(Pawan: nahi nahi pav bhajia nahi..) nahi nahi khali pav vade pandhra pav vade (Pawan: tikha alag…tikha alag) tikha alag…tikha alag..
Mishra: Theek hai
This is the transcript of a telephonic conversation between Vindoo and his driver on the evening of May 14 as the actor along with bookies Pawan Jaipur,Sanjay Jaipur and Prem Taneja sat at Oakwood Hotel in Juhu,placing bets on the ongoing IPL matches. Earlier that day,according to Gandhi Singh,Vindoo had hosted the three bookies along with Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf at his Juhu residence for lunch. The chargesheet says that the driver then saw Pawan hand Rauf a thick gold chain. Sanjay,meanwhile,gave the former ICC official a packet containing cash and said ‘shopping kar lo’.
On the morning of May 16,Gandhi drove Vindoo in the actor’s Mercedes to Hotel Novotel where they picked up Pawan Jaipur. The two then allegedly were involved in a serious discussion about the IPL fixing and betting case that had erupted earlier that day.
“Since they were involved in the case,Vindoo feared that if either of the Jaipur brothers were caught,he would be arrested too. So he asked them along with Lakhan Singh to flee to Dubai and inform Rauf about leaving the country as well,” the chargesheet quotes Gandhi as having said.
At 5.30 pm,Gandhi was asked to drop Pawan at the international airport while Mishra drove Sanjay and Lakhan Singh.
Sanjay then called Vindoo from Mishra’s phone and asked him to deliver a message to Rauf that he should destroy the sim card given to him by the bookies and throw it into the gutter. Since Lakhan did not have a valid visa,Gandhi dropped him off at Hotel Bawa International before both drivers returned to Vindoo’s home.
Driver Gandhi has also said that his employer had become obsessed with watching cricket in the last two-three years and discussing the same with his friends who would visit him from Rajasthan,Delhi and other parts of Mumbai. Vindoo would then spend many hours at home or in hotels around Juhu with this lot that included the Jaipur brothers and Taneja.
They were all yellow
For a mere “enthusiast”,Gurunath Meiyappan seemed to be in possession of an astounding number of Chennai Super Kings merchandise items as well as official papers. For,the Mumbai Police found two transparent plastic boxes,each containing 95 visiting cards (total 190 cards) of B Gurunath Meiyappan as team principal,when they searched his residence.
When the cops came calling on Guru’s Chennai residence at Cenotaph Road,Alwarpet,the tell-tale paraphernalia was all over. The articles included a diary which contained handwritten names of cricket players,two sets of papers of IPL auction list,both are dated December 24th,2010 and run into 13 pages each,a total of 365 yellow-coloured envelops printed with the logo of Chennai Super Kings and about 1,400 stickers,printed with words Super Kings in different font sizes,which were packed in one transparent plastic bag with a thread.
Around 2,000 stickers,each with photographs of cricket players and words printed as raise your glass,Chennai Super Kings and roar with pride,were packed in three separate transparent plastic bags. The police found 17 yellow coloured t-shirts,26 black coloured t-shirts and four pink coloured t-shirts in the wardrobe of Gurunath’s room and T-shirts with logo of Chennai Super Kings embroidered on the front side and words the pride of Chennai.
Rauf’s shopping spree
Asad Rauf pocketed $58,208 in the 16 matches he officiated in the IPL. But that’s peanuts compared to what Dada as he was called by the bookies got from the punters. According to the chargesheet,Rauf ‘reminded’ Vindoo Dara Singh of his birthday. And he ensured Rauf wasn’t disappointed.
In his statement to the police,Mushir Khan,the assistant store manager of Diesel Fashion India showroom,said he saw Rauf and S Sreesanth at his store on April 26. The Pakistani umpire first went to the shop with Prem Taneja at 2pm on April 25 where he shopped worth Rs 43,990. This amount was again paid by Taneja. The next day,Rauf returned to the store with the bookie at 6pm and bought jeans worth Rs 22,000. Rauf also purchased clothes worth Rs 14,500 on May 14. Rauf intimated Vindoo to place bets on the match between Mumbai and Rajasthan on May 15,in which he was the umpire.
On one occasion,Vindoo along with others,including umpire Asad Rauf,met at room number 409 of Hotel Oakwood in Mumbai on May 14 and 15 where they placed bets on the IPL matches while coordinating with the bookies from Pakistan.
Taking SIMs help
A bunch of domestic helps around the country ended up coming under the Mumbai Police scanner for being employed in the wrong household. Mainly because sim cards confiscated by the Mumbai Police had been originally bought in their names.
The chargesheet has bookies Pawan and Sanjay Jaipur having used a dozen sim cards for their transactions not registered in their names. But rather those that they had taken away from those who had worked for them in some capacity. From house-cleaners to salesmen.
Premraj Mulya,who worked as a cleaner for Pawan,said that Sanjay had asked for his sim card after a raid at his house in 2011,where he claimed the police had taken away all his phones. Other bookies like Keshu Pune and Badrinath Modi too have been accused of having obtained sim cards in a similar manner.
Mumbai bookie Ramesh Vyas promised a free mobile phone and sim card for anyone who submitted original personal documents. Vyas would then create sim cards bearing their names and use those lines for other bookies.
According to the chargesheet,the electronic-shop owner also demanded details from workers at his father’s sweet-shop,one of whom admitted to the Mumbai Police that the signature on the application form wasn’t his as he couldn’t write and generally used his thumb-impression instead. Others too became conduits to the crime inadvertantly.
Bangalore’s Sunilkumar Narayanan,who worked in a shop run by Sanjay Jaipur’s relative,said that he was coaxed into getting a sim card on his name for the bookie that eventually was used by Asad Rauf.