ICC warned Meiyappan to stay off bookies: Police

Mumbai, May 31 (IANS) Adding a grave dimension to the ongoing IPL scam, Mumbai police claim to have learnt that Gurunath Meiyappan was reportedly warned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to stay clear of bookies before the start of IPL-6, official sources said here Friday.

The information was revealed by Meiyappan, arrested for illegal betting and other irregularities, during his custodial interrogation last week, police sources said.

The sources said an Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) official had reportedly advised Meiyappan “to keep off certain suspicious elements” before the IPL-6 season started, implying people like Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh Randhawa.

“Be careful. I have already been warned of this,” Meiyappan is stated to have alerted Vindoo, who corroborated it in his statement.

However, Mumbai police who declined to name the ACSU official, have not yet corroborated the statement with the ICC.

The sources said the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was not informed about Meiyappan’s activities or the fact that ACSU was in direct touch with him on the issue.

The investigators also do not have transcripts of the telephonic conversations between Meiyappan and Vindoo pertaining to the ACSU official and his “advice” to the former.

Meanwhile, a Mumbai court granted police additional remand of Meiyappan, Vindoo, bookie Prem Taneja and hawala operator Alpesh Patel till June 3, arrested in connection with the IPL scam.

The police sought further custody of the four to enable them to unravel the nexus between the accused and some absconding bookies such as Sanjay Jaipur, Pawan Jaipur and Jupiter, also wanted in the fixing case.

Additional Metropolitan Magistrate A.A. Khan granted the police plea, rejecting the defence lawyers’ arguments that the offences under which the accused were booked were bailable, and they had already spent sufficient time in police custody.

Police said a team has been sent to Goa to bring bookie Paresh Bhatia to Delhi, allegedly linked to some of the accused in the case.

In a related development, Chennai hotelier Vikram Agarwal appeared before Mumbai police in response to a summons issued two days ago, and recorded his detailed statement.

Owner of Radisson Blu hotel in Chennai, Agarwal was allegedly running a betting syndicate in Chennai. He is said to be a link between Meiyappan, Vindoo and other Bollywood celebrities.

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