The crime branch unit (Zone I) attached to the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police arrested six people including the operator and soliciting customers for their alleged involvement in encouraging gambling activities under the guise of government-authorised lottery centers sans any registration or mandated licenses. However, the kingpin of the racket is still at large.
Acting on a tip-off, the crime branch team swooped down on a shop located in Sai Villa building in Bhayandar (west). The team, rounded up six persons who have been identified as Kalulal Khemraj Dangi (24), Raju Ganpat Jhamble (42), Sanjog Naresh Shah (23), Vaibhav Jitendrakumar Shah (34), Kuldeep Mohanlal Sethiyar (32) and Vinod Ambalal Solanki (38).
While the accused were booked under the relevant sections of the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887 and the Lottery (Regulation) Act-1998, the police team also seized cash and gambling material, including computers and printers from the establishment. This apart from impounding equipment and accessories used to facilitate Internet access.
Despite the fact that the racketeers were using specially designed software and online websites to conduct their nefarious activities, the much more stringent sections under the Information and Technology Act were not invoked by the police team. The actual masterminds of the racket were apparently using software that showed the quantum of bets placed on numbers, on the basis of which the number with the least bet was selected, sources said. Further investigations were underway.