Mumbai (Hindustan Times): The Mumbai crime branch claims to have stumbled upon a bollywood-bookie-cricketer nexus following the disclosures made by Vindoo Dara Singh, son of the late Dara Singh, while investigating the betting racket busted by them. Vindoo who is currently in the custody of the crime branch's property cell, has started singing during custodial interrogation, sources said.
He has allegedly told the police that he not only placed bets but also facilitated others in Bollywood in placing bets with bookies he knew. At times, he would double up as a bookie himself and was known as "Jack" in bookie and punter circuits. Bollywood personalities are also known to hobnob with the bookies, he allegedly said.
A senior crime branch officials said that Vindoo's mobile phone call record has revealed 'quite a few names' and they were investigating various connections to the betting racket busted by them. As per sources, Vindoo knew many cricketers and he used this friendship to gets tips on the game and in turn to place bets, police said.
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"He was close to many bookies, especially Pawan Jaipur and Sanjay Jaipur. He also was in touch with Jupiter, a bookies common in the cases in Mumbai and Jaipur. Vindoo also was in touch with Ramesh Vyas, who ran the Kalbadevi centre which connected Indian and Pakistani bookies," sources said.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (Crime) said their investigations were at a sensitive stage and hinted of more arrests were likely. He added their case so far was related to betting only.
Sources said that Vindoo would accept bets upto Rs. One lakh. He would in turn put bets of larger sums with big bookies like Jupiter. "I have a bad addiction for betting is what Vindoo confessed," said a crime branch officer, requesting anonymity. Vindoo also used place bets on horse racing. It is also suspected that Vindoo was a conduit between bookies, Bollywood personalities and cricketers, and was being guided by bookies owing allegiance to Sunil Abhichandani alias Sunil Dubai.
The crime branch has recovered three mobiles phones belonging to Pawan Jaipur and Sanjay Jaipur from Vindoo's residence. He also booked hotel rooms for the duo in the city in May. Also on May 17, when the police were searching the duo, Vindoo took them in his own car to the international airport for their escape to Dubai.
Vindoo claims that he had earned around Rs. 17 lakh from betting in this year's T20 season. As per sources, Vindoo was a great fan of cricket for a long time and had a bookie friend named Anand Saxena in Delhi. Through Anand he eventually got introduced to the book making world. Afterwards he was introduced to Pawan and Sanjay Jaipur by Anand almost 8 years ago.
It was from 2005, that he started to place bets on all sorts of cricket matches. He struck rapport with Pawan and Sanjay Jaipur and was in touch with Jupiter, a bookie common in the cases in Delhi and Mumbai. Singh was also in touch with Ramesh Vyas of Kalbadevi, who ran a centre which connected Indian, Pakistani and Dubai based bookies.