Mumbai, May 25 -- The role of Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf is prominently emerging in the betting case registered by the Mumbai crime branch. Though the crime branch is yet to decide on whether they would be making him an accused in their case, officials said they were aware that Rauf known as 'Dada' was a friend of bookies Pawan Jaipur, and also of Vindoo Dara Singh since the past two years.
Sources said they wanted to questioned Rauf but he escaped from the country around May 20, after Vindoo tipped him off. A crime branch team was on the lookout for him after their raid on May 15 at Kalbadevi, however by the time Rauf's name came up, he was tipped off and fled to Pakistani. Crime branch may seek legal advice on Rauf if his role further emerges in the coming days.
Officials said Rauf accepted gifts from them, and also many of his hotels bills were cleared by the duo. A crime branch team has seized two packets containing expensive watches, jeans, shoes and gold chains which were sent to Rauf by Pawan Jaipur from the Delhi airport.
"It's improper on the part of an umpire to accept gifts from bookies," officials said adding Rauf never took money but only accepted expensive gifts. Though he is not part of the fixing or betting racket, he helped bookies with inside information, sources said.
When asked about Rauf's status in the case, Himanshu Roy, Joint commissioner of police (Crime) on Saturday said they were investigating Rauf's role.
Rauf has been a regular to India for a long time and has been standing as an umpire in many of the T20 matches. Sources said Rauf did not have any official address in the country and was a Pakistani citizen because of which the police are finding it difficult to serve him summons.
Rauf was earlier mired in controversy after allegations of rape were leveled against him in Versova police station by a city based model in 2012, which were later withdrawn.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.