In one of the first few cases registered on day one of the newly created Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar Police Commissionerate, two small-time bookies were arrested for their involvement in an online cricket betting racket in Bhayandar on Thursday night.
While the arrested accused have been identified as - Vijay Tiwari and Rakesh Sharma, their two accomplices are still absconding. Acting on a tip-off, a team under the instructions of Senior Police Inspector-Sampatrao Patil raided a shop in the Sai Baba Nagar area of Navghar Road in Bhayandar (east). The team found that the accused had been allegedly accepting bets for the T-20 cricket match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) being held in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu-Dhabi.
According to the police, the accused had been accepting and placing bets on applications and websites like- Bet365 and TenExch which were found to be installed in their smartphones.
While four smartphones and SIM cards were seized, both the accused were booked under the relevant sections of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1985 and Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1987.
While a hunt was on to nab their absconding accomplices, investigations were on to find out how long the betting racket was going on. Bookies and gamblers have adopted high-tech ways to place bets and settle accounts in a cashless mode via mobile applications and websites to evade the police dragnet. Meanwhile, both the accused have been remanded to custody after they were produced before the court on Friday. Further investigations were underway.