‘At least 12 more players guilty of spot-fixing’

A top bookie with close links to another bookmaker in the D-company said the guilty players are careful about not leaving a cash trail.

New Delhi: Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar hit the nail on its head when he hinted at the spot-fixing malaise having much deeper roots than have been discovered.

A top bookie with close links to another bookmaker in the D-company told Mail Today that besides Rajasthan Royals players S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, at least 12-15 more domestic players could be involved in the spotfixing scandal.

Going on to explain how the guilty players manage to evade the police, the bookie said they are careful about not leaving a cash trail and insist on getting paid in kind – from luxury watches to fancy home furnishings.

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“There are more cricketers involved in spot-fixing. However, they accept hawala money in kind and not cash, which makes it difficult for law enforcers to unearth the entire scam,” the bookie said.

Despite commissioner Kumar’s conviction that names of more players could tumble out as the investigation in the scandal progresses, insiders say the discreet deals have as yet proved difficult to detect.

The reason is simple – with no cash trail, investigators have no evidence to nail the guilty players.

As an insider revealed, “Given the players’ reluctance to accept cash, the payment would be made by means of hawala transactions. The money sent by D-company to middlemen would be converted into endorsement deals for infrastructure companies, NGOs or hotels and fully sponsored foreign trips for the players. The agents also provide escorts to the players during these foreign trips.” Purchasing cars registered in another person’s name and property is the other means employed.

The company contacts their trusted car dealers in Mumbai and Delhi. The dealers accept the hawala amount and hand over the vehicle to the sports person. The paperwork is dealt with by the dealers. The entire deal is conducted in good faith, elaborates the source.

“Many key players from IPL teams other than Rajasthan Royals got huge amounts of money, which was invested in under- construction property, for which the down payment is made in black money,” the source elaborated.

An Indian player who plays for a prominent IPL team recently got his payment invested in decorating his new house, splashing the money on electronic goods and expensive furniture, the source added.

“Most of the betting in IPL season is done during the qualifier season. During this time, the amount that the bookies earn goes thrice the amount of that during league matches,” an insider said.

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