Cash, laptop, phones recovered from Sreesanth's room

[ROUND-UP] Srinivasan refuses to blame the IPL; Shukla promises strong punishments.

Arrested bookmakers and Indian cricketers, including Test bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth among them, are brought …

Probing deeper into the IPL spot-match fixing scam, Mumbai police have seized the mobiles, iPhones, laptops, data cards and other personal belongings of cricketer S. Sreesanth and his relative-cum-bookie Jiju Janardhan, a top police officer said here Saturday.

Cash to the tune of Rs. 72,000 was also recovered from his room..

Besides, the Mumbai police are also scanning the diaries of Sreesanth which contain significant information pertaining to the scam, Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy, who is spearheading the investigations, told media persons here.

Police also searched the room in a five-star hotel in south Mumbai where Sreesanth and Janardhan had checked in after making a booking through Tamarind Tours & Travels, he said.

"We are also scanning the CCTV footage of the hotel to find out who they met during their stay there, their movements, and visitors who called on them," Roy said, adding that the Mumbai police will reconstruct the sequence of events in the hotel May 14/15 till Sreesanth's arrest by Delhi Police.

SREESANTH RESISTED ARREST [Link]

Sreesanth began shouting and claimed he had close connections with the Kerala and Maharashtra chief ministers after he was accosted by police for alleged spot fixing.

Sources told IANS that Sreesanth was with a woman companion in an SUV outside a five-star hotel on Carter Road, Mumbai, when a team of Delhi Police intercepted them.

He also handed over his mobile phone to the police officers asking them to call the chief ministers.

Police sources said Sreesanth was drunk at the time of his arrest and he mistakenly thought he was being detained for drunkenness.


ROYALS TO SLAP CHARGES [Link]

Rajasthan Royals will file a police complaint against its three players arrested for spot fixing while the BCCI set up a panel to probe the scandal, board president N. Srinivasan announced in Chennai Sunday.

At its emergency working committee meeting convene in the wake of the spot fixing scandal, the BCCI also decided that agents of all players will now need to be accredited with the board while a BCCI Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) official, along with a security officer, will be assigned to each IPL team for its regulation.

Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, all playing for the Rajasthan Royals, were arrested in Mumbai late Wednesday night by Delhi Police for alleged spot fixing.

The three players, now suspended by the BCCI, have been charged under section 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).


EX-RANJI PLAYER, TWO OTHERS ARRESTED [Link]

The three - Sunil Bhatia, 44, Kiran Dole, 43, and Manish Gudewa, 32 - all natives of Nagpur were arrested from Maharashtra's Aurangabad city early Sunday morning and are "fixers" who mediated between the bookies and the players.

The three were arrested after their phones were put on surveillance by police.

"These three are fixers who fixed the meeting between the bookies and players and did the on-spot fixing during the match," a Delhi Police official said.

Police said Gudewa was a Ranji level cricket player and played for Vidarbha team between 2003-05.


I AM NOT HIDING: SHUKLA

Breaking his silence on the spot-fixing issue, IPL chief and BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla said he was not in hiding and expressed sadness at the spot-fixing scandal.

"We are all very sad. The league was going fantastically and suddenly this happened," Shukla told CNN-IBN. "BCCI and IPL will cooperate with Delhi Police and those found guilty shall be severely punished. Whatever is needed to weed out such elements will be done by BCCI."

Shukla defended the ICC's anti-corruption unit whose job it is to curtail corruption in cricket. "ACSU along with the BCCI, is engaged to control these things. Wrong to say that ACSU has failed as they have their own limitations," he said.

He pinned the blame on players' greed: "The players are paid heavy money and then this greed. This menace has to be stopped."

SRINIVASAN DEFENDS IPL

BCCI president and Chennai Super Kings owner N. Srinivasan continued to defend the integrity of the controversy-hit IPL saying he doesn't have to "personally apologise" for the wrong-doing of the tainted cricketers.

"See, IPL has not let down the people," Srinivasan said. "It is these dirty cricketers that have done it. These people who have indulged in these kinds of activities. They are the ones. We feel bad.

"I don't have to personally apologise. So long as people know I condemn it. That I don't want it. That I resent the fact that I have to sit here and answer this. We are honest people."

"For the last two days everybody has asked me the same question," he said. "'IPL is damaged. IPL's credibility is gone. IPL is untenable.' It is the biggest tournament in the world. We should be proud of it."

"The point I am making is, everybody is berating the IPL, saying IPL is finished. All I am saying is, I acknowledge the fact that three crickets have done this.

"Naturally it will have some impact. What impact, how much it is, here your view is different than mine.

"Not only does it worry me... The fact is, I have to sit here and listen to people saying IPL is fixed. IPL as a whole is not. Just three people have done something wrong. It doesn't mean the whole IPL is bad. Which is what you are trying to make it out to be."

Ankeet Chavan (centre)

'CHAVAN DID IT OUT OF FEAR' [Link]

Mid Day reports that Ankeet Chavan, the left-arm spinner who has been arrested for spot-fixing, was forced into illegal activities, according to Chavan's friend.

“Ankeet was influenced and forced into doing it. He was also threatened and was repeatedly getting calls from the bookies which he initially avoided,” said a close friend of Chavan.

“He made a mistake by eventually falling into the trap. It was not greed. It was fear,” he added.  Apparently, player-turned-bookie Amit Singh, who is also in police custody, is on Chavan’s BBM list.

BOOKIES SUPPLIED CALL GIRLS?


MORE BOOKIES NABBED

In another development, another bookie, Pravin Bera, was nabbed Saturday for his role in the spot fixing scam. Besides Pravin Bera, Ramesh Vyas, Pankaj Shah alias Lotus, Ashok Vyas, Pandurang Kadam, Niraj Shah have also been arrested so far.

Police had raided bookie Ramesh Vyas's office in Kalbadevi and he was nabbed May 14.

Investigators picked up a rich haul of 92 mobile phone, 18 SIM cards, account books, laptops, a TV set and a satellite, among others.

"Thirty of the mobile phones were used to make conference calls to bookies in India, Pakistan and Dubai by Vyas, who was in touch with all the bookies and had also given some money to them," Roy said.

"We have several more bookies who are wanted in connection with this connection," he added, hinting at more arrests.

To a question, Roy said that the police were contemplating slapping the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act on all the accused after complying with the necessary pre-conditions.

COVERAGE WRAP-UP

Day 1: Sreesanth, Chandila, Chavan arrested

Day 2: Sreesanth, Chavan confess to crime

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