Bhopal: Crime branch nabs 16 local cricket bookies but kingpins go on the lam

Bhopal: Crime branch nabs 16 local cricket bookies but kingpins go on the lam

The applications through which kingpins are facilitating online betting on IPL cricket matches have their servers overseas, tracing which is becoming tough for Crime Branch officials

Staff ReporterUpdated: Friday, May 12, 2023, 02:14 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Efforts of the Bhopal Crime Branch in clamping down on activities such as betting on cricket matches under the ongoing Indian Premiere League (IPL) seem to be going down the drain. Within a period of one month, crime branch officials have collared as many as 16 local bookies who place bets on cricket matches, but only one kingpin has been arrested till date, as per data shared by Bhopal Crime Branch.

Close to eight betting gangs mushroomed in the city since the beginning of IPL, 2023. Members of only some such gangs have been apprehended by the crime branch, who are 16 in number. To add to the inefficiency of the Crime Branch is the fact that officials are merely dependent on the whistle-blower network for leads pertaining to such illegal activities. Apart from 16 local bookies, only one kingpin has been arrested till now from Dewas. In total, the Crime Branch seized an amount close to Rs 50k from the possession of the arrested accused.

‘Transactions of lakhs and crores of rupees have been detected from cell phones of the arrested accused, which have been transferred by them to their respective bosses. The kingpins, however, use such applications whose servers are located overseas, so that they can easily escape police dragnet’, sources in Bhopal crime branch told Free Press. ‘Some of them even use Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), for which the crime branch and cyber cell have still not come up with a solution’, other sources requesting anonymity said.

Senior crime branch officials stated that Kolar, Misrod, Jehangirabad and Arera Colony localities of the city were found to be the betting hotspots, where the arrested accused used to rent accommodations to continue with the illicit practice.

Kingpins based overseas cannot be held: Addl DCP (Crime)

Additional deputy commissioner of police (DCP, Crime), Shailendra Singh Chouhan said that efforts are on to trace the kingpin of betting gangs, by establishing contact with such applications and websites where bets are placed. He, however, added that the kingpins, if based overseas, cannot be arrested as the law in foreign countries does not recognise betting as an illegal practice.

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