In continuance with their crackdown on gambling dens operating under the garb of lottery centers, the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police commissionerate, led by DCP (Crime) Dr Mahesh Patil, conducted raids at six establishments in the twin city on Thursday. After gathering information about the illegal activities, the DCP formed special teams to conduct simultaneous raids at the shady establishments that were operating under the guise of government-authorised lottery centers sans any registration or mandated licenses.
19 people, including the operator and soliciting customers, have been arrested and booked under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act. The police team also seized cash and gambling material, including computers, dongle and printers worth more than Rs. 1.30 lakh. These are apart from the impounding equipment and accessories used to facilitate internet access.
“The accused not only fooled people, but were creating a dent in the government revenue. As of now, an offence under the relevant sections of the IPC and Gambling Act have been slapped against the accused. However, more stringent action under the Information and Technology Act will be added as the investigation progresses further,” said a senior crime branch officer, who is privy to the investigations.
According to the sources, the suspects were using specially designed software that apparently showed the actual masterminds the quantum of bets placed on numbers, on the basis of which the number with the least bet was selected, sources said. The investigating team has not ruled out more arrests in the case.