BCCI ACU nabs three bookies from IPL team hotel in Mumbai leg

Three bookies have been arrested by the Mumbai police after a tip off from BCCI's anti-corruption unit.

The bookies were staying in a plush South Mumbai hotel when Rajasthan Royals was camped during the Mumbai leg of the IPL. - GETTY IMAGES (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

The Mumbai police arrested three bookies - Parvesh Bafna, Ayushi Kesarkar and Chetan Salecha - for running a betting syndicate from a team hotel following a tip off from the BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit.

The three were staying in a plush South Mumbai hotel in April where Rajasthan Royals was camped during the Mumbai leg of the Indian Premier League.

The police seized ₹97,000, eight mobile phones, a laptop and an expensive car from them.

“Our ACU officers had a tip off that three people had checked into the hotel, where the team (Rajasthan Royals) was staying. Even though they could not reach out to any of the players or support staff due to the strict bio-bubble, they did make attempts. But our officers alerted us and we immediately informed the police commissioner of Mumbai to look into the matter,” BCCI ACU chief Shabir Hussein Shekhadam Khandwawala told Sportstar.

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Officers at NM Joshi Marg Police station reached the hotel and caught the accused who were running a betting racket.

“All of them are from Rajasthan. Our records showed that two of the three had previously attempted to approach players in domestic and local tournaments,” Khandwawala said.

While the BCCI ACU chief reached out to the Mumbai police commissioner, efforts were taken to ensure that no one knew about the “search.” “The team staying in the hotel had no idea about this. Since they were in the same hotel, they were always going to be under scanner. So, we ensured that things were handed with caution,” he said.

Cleaning staff approached in Delhi

The BCCI officer confirmed that no players have so far reported any approach. “Since the players were inside the bubble, the security was tighter and we had officers deputed with each team. So, the players and the support staff were unaffected. So far, we have not received any complaints from any players about corrupt approaches,” the BCCI ACU chief said, adding that some bookies were also arrested in Ahmedabad and Delhi during the tournament.

In Delhi, an accredited sweeper was approached by the bookies for 'pitch-siding' which helps ball-by-ball betting. The cleaner was using the time lag between actual match action and live TV coverage to help in ball-by ball betting. "Our ACU officers caught the act and alerted the Delhi Police. Tgey caught a couple of people. Investigations are on," Khandwawala said, adding that two people with fake accreditation cards were arrested during one of the matches.