Mumbai cops make 3 more arrests in IPL scam

Mumbai, May 21 (IANS) Inching ahead in the investigations into the IPL spot fixing scam, Mumbai police Tuesday arrested three more people, including Bollywood actor Vindu Dara Singh Randhawa, a bookie and a hawala operator, a top official said.

Mumbai police Crime Branch also seized Rs.12.80 million in cash from the residence of the arrested hawala operator, Alpesh Patel.

Randhawa, Patel and a third bookie nabbed Tuesday, Prem Taneja, have been remanded in police custody till May 24, said Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy.

“They are linked to those bookies whom we have already arrested and those who are wanted,” Roy told media-persons this evening.

Earlier last week, Mumbai police nabbed six bookies – Ramesh Vyas, Pandurang Kadam, Pravin Bera, Pankaj Shah, Ashok Vyas and Neeraj – whose custody was extended till May 22 by a Mumbai magistrate Tuesday.

Seeking further remand, the police informed the magistrate court that they were investigating whether any of the Pakistanis who were in touch with the arrested bookies had terror connections or mafia crime syndicates.

Besides these nine arrests till date, Mumbai police are on the lookout for two bookies from New Delhi, four bookies from Jaipur (Rajasthan), two from Gujarat and one from Pune, besides others who work under different aliases.

Last Thursday, Mumbai police raided the hotel rooms occupied by cricketer S. Sreesanth and his relative-cum-bookie Jiju Janardhan, both of whom were a day earlier arrested by Delhi Police, along with players Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan, for the IPL-6 spot fixing scam.

Mumbai police investigations are veering around to confirming if any ‘honey-traps’ were used to lure the cricketers since the photographs of some female models have been found on the seized laptop belonging to Sreesanth.

Hours after the sensational arrest of 49-year-old Vindu, a Mumbai magistrate Tuesday sent the Bollywood actor to police custody till May 24.

Police sought his custodial interrogation after Ramesh Vyas, one of the bookies arrested in the scam and currently in police custody, revealed Vindu’s name.

With Vindu’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 Indian Premier League.

Son of the late wrestler-cum-actor Dara Singh, Vindu shot into the limelight a few years ago after winning the “Big Boss 2010” reality show on TV.

Though police are reluctant to divulge details, it is learnt that Vindu, picked up from his suburban home by a team of Crime Branch sleuths, had been under the scanner for the past few days after Vyas was arrested.

Three Rajasthan Royals IPL cricketers S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan and over a dozen bookies have been arrested in the ongoing investigations into the IPL-6 spot-fixing scam busted last week.

Vindu has acted in several movies, including the recent “Son of Sardaar,” “Partner” and “Housefull” among others.

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