Pune/Nagpur: The Pimpri-Chinchwad police raided three locations in the late hours of Friday and arrested 33 bookies for allegedly running a cricket betting operation during the India-England cricket match which was held at Gahunje stadium.
The arrested were produced in a local court on Saturday.
“We have arrested 33 bookies in the raids. Wakad senior police inspector made three teams and raided three places – a high rise building near Gahunje stadium, a hillock near the stadium, and a hotel in the city. They (the arrested) are from different states. Money has been recovered in dollars, pound, and dirhams from the arrested men,” said Krishna Prakash, commissioner, Pimpri-Chinchwad police.
Of the arrested people, one is from Goa, five are from Madhya Pradesh, 13 from Haryana, 11 from Maharashtra, two from Rajasthan, and one from Uttar Pradesh. Among 11 from Maharashtra 3 are from Nagpur and active in Khamla area of the city. From three locations, the police seized a total of 73 mobile phones, one car, three laptops, one tablet, eight cameras, four binoculars, one speaker and ₹1,55,000 cash including foreign currency worth ₹28,800.
Commission Prakash said that the six seconds of the time lag between the match and the live stream is what helped the bookies keep a tab on the movements to accept and even place bets and make money. The men allegedly used binoculars to keep tabs on the match before taking or placing bets.
“The main accused, as per the preliminary investigation, have been identified as Bholu from Bhopal, Bihar and Chetan alias Sonu from Nagpur, Maharashtra,” said senior police inspector Vivek Mugalikar of Wakad police station who led the raids.
“They (bookies) tried to attack the policemen who had first entered the raid spot without realising that the police reinforcements were ready to arrest them,” said Prakash.
They had arrived in the city through various modes of transport in the past few days including- road, railway, and airways.
A case is registered at Wakad police station under Sections 353, 332, 188, 269 of Indian Penal Code along with Section 4, 5, and 12(a) of Gambling Act; Section 21 of Indian Telegraph Act; and Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act.
BY Ravikant Kamble