In his disclosure statement to the Delhi Police, Sanjeev Chawla, the prime accused in the 2000 Hansie Cronje match-fixing case, has said that “no cricket match is fairly played” and “…all the cricket matches which people see are fixed”. He also pointed to the involvement of “a very big syndicate/underworld mafia” that influences all cricket games that, according to him, were like “movies which are already being directed by someone”.
In the statement, which is part of a supplementary chargesheet submitted to the court but doesn’t have the accused’s signature, Chawla revealed before the police that the syndicate had on its target the case’s investigation officer DCP (Crime Branch) Dr G Ram Gopal Naik and that his life was under threat.
The New Delhi-born and London-based alleged bookmaker, while confessing that he was involved in match-fixing for many years, said he could not give more details since “a very big syndicate/underworld mafia is involved in this matter and they are dangerous people and if he says anything they will get him killed”.
When contacted, Special CP (Crime) Praveer Ranjan said, “Since the matter is still under investigation, we may not be able to share any intricate details.”
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police Crime Branch, in its supplementary chargesheet, has also said that Chawla’s non-cooperation in investigation proves his involvement in the crime. In the absence of the High Court’s stay on the trial court’s bail order, Chawla had walked out of Tihar jail earlier this month. Following this relief, Delhi Police has approached the Supreme Court. The matter will be heard next month.
The other accused and Chawla’s alleged associates – Krishan Kumar, Rajesh Kalra, and Sunil Dara – are also out on bail.
The chargesheet details the alleged role played by Chawla and others in fixing cricket matches during South Africa’s 2000 tour of India. It also has the transcript of conversation between Chawla and Hansie which hint at an exchange of inside information and cash between the two.
In the statement, Chawla also says he moved to London in 1993 and was in the “business of clothes” and had shops in London’s Oxford Street. He also said the co-accused — Kumar, Kalra, Dara — were old friends and were also involved in match fixing. After his long stay in London, Chawla became a UK citizen in early 2000. In February this year, he was brought to India after a lengthy extradition process.
Meanwhile, Cronje, who admitted to the South Africa government-appointed King Commission that he had accepted money from bookmakers for underperforming, died in a plane crash in 2002. Following his death, proceedings against him were abated by a July 2017 court order.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines