Bhayandar: The 'matka' (form of gambling) menace seems to have started rearing its ugly head in the twin-city once again. After receiving a tip-off about the gambling activities, the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) of the Thane (rural) police led by Assistant Police Inspector Devidas Handore raided a gambling den operating from a makeshift tenement in Uttan near Bhayandar on Thursday. The raiding team rounded up six people including the operator identified as Malan Archie Pereira and booked them under sections 4 and 5 of the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act. The soliciting gamblers were caught red-handed while placing bets on numbers similar to the Mumbai-Kalyan matka racket.
Gambling material and cash were seized from the spot. An ingenious system of gambling, matka is a game in which people especially from the lower economic strata of the society including poor daily wage workers bet a stake on random numbers. Locals alleged that the place was flocked by people including those with a criminal background, liquor addicts and nuisance-makers, making the area unsafe for others.