The spot fixing web in the Indian Premier League seems to be spreading with each passing day as Mumbai Police are now probing how Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh had ready access to the Chennai Super Kings VIP box.
The heat is now on the Chennai Super Kings franchise. The Mumbai Police is expected to question BCCI chief and Chennai Super Kings owner N Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who has been having telephone conversations with Vindoo Dara Singh.
Meiyappan is also the CEO of the Chennai franchise.
DID SREESANTH PLAN BETTING HOUSES? [Link]
Was Sreesanth planning to start betting houses in India and abroad? Two news channels today claimed to be possession of documents that showed S36 Sports and Entertainment Private Limited, the company jointly owned by Sreesanth, had listed betting as one of the objectives of the company.
Deccan Chronicle reports: According to S36's memorandum of association filed with the registrar of companies in Bengaluru, the company's main objectives are: "To run in India and/or abroad coaching centres, gymnasiums, health clubs, fitness centres, betting houses, indoor stadiums, sports physiotherapy centres, sports bars..."
Betting is illegal in India, but is permissible in many countries. Sreesanth is reported to be holding a 74% stake in this company while his Kochi-based coach P. Sivakumar owns the other 26%.
Sivakumar told CNN-IBN that listing of objectives is a normal practice during the registration of a company. “The company was formed for Sreesanth’s post retirement life. If Sreesanth settles abroad, he can run a betting house. There are many countries where betting is allowed. We have not committed any illegality”, he said.
LAWYER LASHES OUT AT COPS
Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's lawyer Rebecca John said police involved in the corruption probe were 'deliberately planting leaks' in the media against her client. John's comments came a day after Sreesanth, who has played 27 Tests for India, and his two team-mates from the Rajasthan Royals were refused bail following their court appearance over the scandal.
15 IPL MATCHES FIXED THIS YEAR: BOOKIE
Dinesh Kalgi, a leading bookie from Gujarat, claimed today that as many as 15 IPL6 matches were fixed. In an interview to CNN-IBN, Kalgi claimed that "players, selectors, Bollywood stars are all involved."
"Not just players, sponsors, selection committees are involved. Bollywood is also involved, but they will never be caught," Kalgi claimed. "Only the small fish get caught. Spot-fixing happens in London and is provided back-up in Dubai. The Delhi police has uncovered only a small, amateur group. They did not know how to do it and therefore got caught."
VINDOO MADE RS. 17 LAKH
Times Now reported that Vindoo has claimed to have told the police that he made Rs. 17 lakh from his betting-related activities during IPL6.
Vindoo has also reportedly confessed that he helped two bookies, Pawan Jaipur and Sanjay Jaipur, escape to Dubai.
CHANDILA HAD FIXED MAY 17 MATCH [Link]
Ajit Chandila of Rajasthan Royals was about to spot-fix in another Indian Premiere League (IPL) match too for which he had taken Rs.15 lakh from a Punjab-based bookie, police claimed here Wednesday.
During interrogation Chandila has revealed the name of another bookie, Deepak Kumar, 35, a resident of Patiala, Punjab.
"Kumar contacted Chandila April 4 and a meeting was held between them in a Chandigarh hotel for spot-fixing in the match played between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 17. In this match, he was supposed to play," said an officer of Delhi Police.
He also received Rs.15 lakh from Kumar, who is a property dealer.
PIL AGAINST CSK, BCCI
Following these events was the news that a public interest litigation has been filed with the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court seeking a ban on the remaining IPL games this season, a government takeover of the BCCI and a CBI inquiry into the spot-fixing allegations. The PIL has been filed by a lawyer.
The High Court has subsequently issued notices to the Central Government, BCCI and IPL commissioner Rajiv Shukla. Srinivasan and Shukla have been given two weeks to respond.
Vindoo was arrested on Tuesday for his links to book-makers. The police has found no connections between Meiyappan and spot-fixing.
VINDOO'S CSK CONNECTIONS
Vindoo was arrested by Mumbai crime branch officials on Tuesday for his links with betting mafia.
Hindustan Times reported that police said they were investigating whether Vindoo, best known for winning the third season of reality show Bigg Boss, was a dealmaker between cricketers and bookmakers.
A picture of Vindoo with Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's wife Sakshi at a stadium watching an IPL match fuelled stories that Sakshi would be questioned by the crime branch. Asked at a news conference if Sakshi and others seen with Vindoo would be questioned, Mumbai joint commissioner of police (Crime) Himanshu Roy would only reply that investigations were at a very preliminary stage and that it was too premature to comment.
Police sought his custodial interrogation after Ramesh Vyas, one of the bookies arrested in the scam and currently in police custody, revealed Vindoo's name.
Vindoo, the son of the late Dara Singh, will be produced in a Mumbai lower court on Wednesday. His lawyer Advocate Karan Mehta said outside the Esplanade Magistrate's court, Mumbai, shortly after Vindoo was sent to police custody till May 24, that police had no evidence on the alleged involvement of his client in the scandal.
News channel NDTV quoted sources as saying the police are investigating multiple calls made by the actor to a Chennai number. The calls were made over a period of six months, say sources.
The Mumbai Police says Vindoo's custodial interrogation was needed to establish the chain of people involved in the racket as the actor was not only betting himself but was also aiding the bookies.
With Vindoo's arrest, Mumbai police have sounded the first knock on Bollywood, completing the cricket-underworld-Bollywood triumvirate in the betting and spot fixing scam that has hit the sixth edition of the IPL.
Apart from Vindoo, Mumbai Police on Tuesday also arrested bookie Prem Taneja and hawala operator Alpesh Patel, from whose house the Crime Branch also seized Rs 12.80 million in cash.
Mumbai Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said the three accused taken into custody "are linked to those bookies whom we have already arrested and those who are wanted".
Police said they were investigating whether any of the Pakistanis, who were in touch with the arrested bookies, had terror or crime syndicate links.
SREESANTH CLAIMS INNOCENCE
S. Sreesanth has pleaded innocence in the on-going investigations against spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League.
In a statement emailed by his lawyer Rebecca John on Tuesday, Sreesanth said: "I am innocent and have done no wrong. I have never indulged in any spot-fixing. As a cricketer, I have learnt to take knocks along with accolades, in my stride. I recognise that I am going through a tough period in my life. I have utmost faith in our judicial process and I am confident that with time I will be proved innocent, and my honour and dignity will be vindicated and restored."
This is the first statement Sreesanth has made since his arrest last Thursday. Earlier, media sources had reported that the Rajasthan Royals cricketer had confessed to spot-fixing during his interrogation by the police.
HIGH COURT QUASHES BID TO BAN IPL
The Delhi High Court has rejected a public interest litigation filed by an NGO seeking to ban the IPL. The HC had agreed to hear the plea on Wednesday. The NGO, Association For Social and Humanitarian Affairs through its president Kuldeep Singh Bhogal, said the T20 league is assisting corruption in the sport.
"The IPL's model seems to be designed specifically to suit the requirements of the mafia to quickly and efficiently churn huge sum of money using the routes of hawala," the petition, filed through advocate Rahul Raj Malik, alleged.
"The strategic time out of two to three minutes while the game is being played is misused, as being the only opportunity, for interactions between the players and the bookies to influence the result of the match and session and thereby cheat the nation," it alleged, adding that the whole nation has been "cheated" by some unscrupulous players, bookies and others.
SREESANTH TO BE QUIZZED FOR FIVE MORE DAYS [Link]
A Delhi court on Tuesday extended by five days the police custody of Sreesanth, his Rajasthan Royals teammates Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila and eight bookies for alleged spot fixing in the ongoing Indian Premier League.
Metropolitan Magistrate Saumya Chauhan granted police custody of the players and the bookies till May 26 when Sreesanth along with others were presented in a packed courtroom at the end of their earlier police remand and investigators described the crime as "organised conspiracy".
The accused were using the modus operandi of asking bowlers, who agreed to indulge in spot fixing, to give pre-decided signals with the help of their accessories - like wrist watches, wrist bands, neck chains and towels at the time of starting the over, police said.
Police told the court two mobile phones, bought with spot fixing money, were recovered from Sreesanth's girlfriend from Jaipur.
Sreesanth and 10 others were arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police from the national capital region, Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Police have booked the cricketers under provisions of the Indian Penal Code for criminal breach of trust as they did not play for their team and played for the bookies for their own interest. They were also booked for cheating and criminal conspiracy.
The bookies were booked for cheating and criminal conspiracy.
SREESANTH'S SHOPPING SPREE
Sreesanth went on a shopping spree with the money he earned from spot-fixing, buying apparel worth Rs.1.95 lakh for himself and a mobile phone costing over Rs.40,000 for his girlfriend, Delhi Police said on Tuesday.
He wanted to quickly dispose of the money which he got after fixing, a police official told IANS.
Some of the apparel bought by Sreesanth in Mumbai and the Blackberry Z10 phone have been seized, he said.
After Sreesanth told investigators about the purchases from the money he got for spot-fixing, he was taken to Jaipur on Monday evening and brought back to Delhi on Tuesday to be presented in a court.
TEAM OWNER'S RELATIVE UNDER LENS [Link ]
"The team owner's relative's mobile number has repeatedly shown up in Vindoo's call records, which we've been scanning for the past three days," a top police officer told Times of India.
The officer said that it was too early to say if the team owner was involved in the betting racket. "We have not yet established whether it was just betting or there was fixing too," the official said.
Even if the team owner is not linked directly to any betting or fixing, the fallout of his relative's involvement, should it be established, would be far-reaching for cricket and potentially disastrous forthe IPL.
HOW BOOKIES ZEROED IN ON SREESANTH [Link]
The interrogation of the bookies arrested in the recent IPL spot-fixing scandal has revealed that Sreesanth was spotted as a "vulnerable target" after Slapgate, a Times of India report said.
If the bookies are to be believed, they had initiated efforts to get Sreesanth on their rolls soon thereafter but it took them several months to fix the first meeting.
Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's brother and aide, Anees Ibrahim, allegedly passed on instructions to Sunil Ramchandani alias Sunil Dubai to get more dope on the fast bowler through his contacts in cricket teams and among celebrities.
BABURAO YADAV ANGLE
Former Ranji cricket player Baburao Yadav, arrested in the IPL spot fixing scandal, was in constant touch with a bookie for two years and introduced him to an accused Rajasthan Royals player, Delhi Police said on Tuesday.
Yadav, who was arrested on Monday, came in contact with bookie Sunil Bhatia in 2007 and was in touch with him till 2008, police said.
Picked up from Delhi, Yadav was questioned for his links with Chandila. He was the one who introduced Chandila to Bhatia, who is also in custody, a police official said.
Police also said they have collected voice samples of nine of the 18 accused in their custody, including some of the bookies and the three arrested players.
The official said they have added Section 409 (criminal breach of trust) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) to the case against 18 people, including players and bookies, arrested for the scandal after Indian Premier league (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals filed a formal complaint with Delhi Police.
Cops to grill Sreesanth for five more days
Crime and lack of punishment
A cricketer without a name
Rajasthan file police complaint against tainted players
Cash, laptop seized from Sreesanth's room
Sreesanth, Chavan confess to crime
Sreesanth, Chandila, Chavan arrested