Mumbai: Actor-producer Arbaaz Khan has been summoned by the anti-extortion cell of the Thane crime branch in connection with an international IPL betting ring that was busted recently.
According to Abhishek Trimukhe, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Thane crime branch, it is suspected that Arbaaz, younger brother of Salman Khan, had placed bets running into Rs 2.8 crores through bookies in the 11th edition of the IPL and lost heavily. These bets were allegedly placed through a top bookie from Malad, Sonu Jalan, who was arrested on Tuesday. He is known to be connected with underworld gangster Chhota Shakeel.
Jalan ran a software– Bet and Take — which was thriving in national and international betting circuits. He was arrested in 2012, too, by the Mumbai Police for betting on IPL matches. He had then during interrogation told Mumbai crime branch officials that he paid Rs 10 cr to a top Sri Lankan player to fix a match.
According to Pradeep Sharma, Senior Police Inspector, Thane anti-extortion cell, “During investigation, it was found that Arbaaz was being threatened by Jalan as he had lost a huge sum on one of the matches.’’ The cops believe that some more prominent Bollywood personalities could be also involved in the racket. They have seized from Jalan a diary with phone numbers of more than 100 bookies and builders. Khan’s name was also mentioned in it. Now, these entries are being verified. According to the police, Jalan’s annual turnover is around Rs 100 crore.
Another film personality, Vindu Dara Singh, was arrested in 2013 by the Mumbai police for betting on and involvement in spot fixing. He was later released on bail. But the case is just not about betting; in question is also a meeting in Dubai where match-fixing was discussed. It is suspected that Khan was also present at this meeting. ‘‘We are now investigating which match was fixed and who all were involved,” Sharma said. Jalan was arrested on Tuesday when he arrived at the Kalyan sessions court to meet his accomplices who were bookies.
On May 16, the anti-extortion cell raided a building at Dombivali, which was found to be the nerve centre of an IPL betting racket. Jalan, along with another city bookie, Prem Taneja, and his business partner ‘Junior Calcutta’ had fixed a test match between Sri Lanka and Australia in 2016. To fix this match, the three had even gone to Sri Lanka and allegedly bribed the pitch curator. In that match, 21 wickets fell the same day. Taneja was later arrested along with actor Vindu Dara Singh in 2013.