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CBI books 7 in connection with alleged match fixing, betting in 2019 IPL

CBI books 7 in connection with alleged match fixing, betting in 2019 IPL
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New Delhi: The CBI has booked seven suspected punters in connection with two separate cases related to the alleged fixing of 2019 Indian Premier League matches "based on inputs" from Pakistan, officials said on Saturday.

The central agency has started a countrywide probe and was carrying out searches at seven locations in Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Jodhpur, they said.

The agency received inputs that "a network of individuals involved in cricket betting are influencing the outcome of Indian Premier League (IPL) matches based on inputs received from Pakistan", the FIRs alleged.

The CBI has named one Dileep Kumar, based in Rohini, Delhi, and Gurram Vasu and Gurram Satish based in Hyderabad in its first FIR as accused while Sajjan Singh, Prabhu Lal Meena, Ram Avtar and Amit Kumar Sharma, all from Rajasthan, have been named in the second. The racket allegedly operating from Rajasthan is continuing since 2010 while another is on since 2013, they said.

The networks operating on the basis of inputs from Pakistan were also cheating the public by "inducing them for betting", they said.

The racketeers have bank accounts (mule accounts) using fake identities and know your customer (KYC) documents in connivance with the unknown bank officials, they said.

"These bank accounts have been opened by submitting forged details such as multiple dates of birth and without due diligence done by the bank officials.

"A part of the money received from the general public in India on account of such betting activities is also being shared with their associates based in foreign countries using hawala transactions," the FIRs alleged.

The CBI has found that Dileep was operating a number of bank accounts in which domestic cash deposits worth over Rs 43 lakh have been made since 2013 defying "economic rationale", officials said.

The central agency also detected that in the six bank accounts operated by Gurram Satish, cash deposits worth Rs 4.55 crore (domestic) and Rs 3.05 lakh (foreign) have been made during 2012-20 and in the case of Gurram Vasu the amount is Rs 5.37 crore during the period. The CBI has alleged there is no recognisable business rationale to explain transactions in the accounts.

"The information reveals that this network of individuals was involved in cricket betting during Indian Premier League (IPL) matches held in the year 2019.

"The persons involved are running the racket of cricket betting, committing fraud by inducing betting by the general public and thereby deceiving public of their hard-earned money and also indulging in impersonating their identities in operating various bank accounts," the FIR related to Delhi-Hyderabad racket alleged.

The CBI has alleged that maximum cash transactions in these accounts are of pan-India nature which further substantiates the allegation of these unusual financial transactions being linked with cricket betting and other criminal activities, the officials said.

In the Rajasthan racket, the CBI has found that they were allegedly sharing part of the money received from the general public in India from betting activities with their associates based in foreign countries using hawala transactions while the modus operandi remains similar to the Delhi-Hyderabad group.

In the Rajasthan group, the CBI has alleged that accused Singh, Meena, Ram Avtar and Sharma were in contact with one Pakistani suspect who contacted them and some unknown persons in India through a Pakistani Number +9233222226666.

"The information reveals that aforesaid accused persons are part of network involved in illegal cricket betting activities," the FIR alleged.

The accounts of Singh show there are three different dates of birth in documents submitted to UCO Bank. "The transactions in the accounts are circular in nature. The summation of the suspicious amount credited in the account of Sajjan Singh valued more than Rs 33.23 lakh from the F.Y.2010-11 to F.Y 2019-20.

"The information reveals that this network of individuals was involved in cricket betting during the then-ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) matches held in the year 2019 in Delhi and other places," the FIR alleged.

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