IPL scam: Police seize Rs.5.5 lakh from Shukla

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Delhi Police said Thursday it had seized Rs.5.5 lakh, the money allegedly given to Rajasthan Royals cricketer S. Sreesanth for spot fixing in IPL, from an event manager, Abhishek Shukla.

Shukla, a friend of Sreesanth who allegedly cleaned up the cricketer's hotel room soon after his arrest, was taken to Mumbai Wednesday from where the money was recovered.

"We recovered Rs.5.5 lakh from Shukla's Lokhandwala flat in Mumbai yesterday (Wednesday)," said a police official. Shukla was granted bail by a court Thursday.

Shukla is a Mumbai-based event manager.

Police sources claimed that Sreesanth spent around Rs.7.41 lakh within days in Jaipur and Mumbai before his arrest. They said the latest recovery completed the money trail linked to Sreesanth.

"Shukla wanted to become the manager or agent of Sreesanth. After the purchase, he took the rest of the money to his flat in Lokhandwala in a black bag," a senior police official said.

Altogether, Sreesanth had allegedly received Rs.10 lakh from Jiju Janardhan, a friend who is in police custody in connection with the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot fixing scandal, the sources said.

Mumbai police had earlier recovered Rs.70,000 from Sreesanth's hotel.

Shukla was arrested Wednesday for allegedly removing money and articles of Sreesanth soon after the cricketer's arrest on May 16.

"Shukla was in Sreesanth's touch for five-six years. First time he met with Sreesanth in Bangalore," added the official.

Apart from this, the police also recovered three bills of Sreesanth from Shukla's flat. The first one was for Rs.1.70 lakh for which he paid Rs.one lakh through credit card and rest in cash.

The second one was for Rs.1.58 lakh in which Rs.one lakh was paid through credit card and Rs.58,000 through cash and the third bill for Rs.2.1 lakh -- Rs.two lakh through credit card and rest in cash.

"All these bills were for purchases in Jaipur," added the official.

The police had earlier recovered a bill of Rs.1.95 lakh which was received by Sreesanth from a Mumbai-based Diesel store where he had purchased some apparel and other articles on May 14, the day Shukla was handling the money.

Shukla also informed police that Jiju called him on his mobile phone to come to the hotel where he was staying soon after he got to know about Sreesanth's arrest.

"We have telephonic intercepts of Jiju talking to someone in Malayalam in which he is repeatedly saying police, police. We assume that he knew that Sreesanth was arrested. So he called Shukla who rushed to the hotel. His arrival at the hotel was captured on CCTV," said the official.

"Jiju handed him over Rs. two lakh which he took it to his home," the officer said.

Replying to queries about how Janardhan knew that Sreesanth had been arrested, the official said that Rajeev Pillai, a south Indian actor who was with Sreesanth in a car at the time of his arrest, informed Janardhan, who called Shukla.

"Shukla's PAN number was given for Sreesanth's transactions," said the official.

Delhi Police have arrested 26 people in connection with the IPL scandal. Of these, 18 have been sent to judicial custody, including Rajasthan Royals players Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan.

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