Rooms in shady hotels and lodges in the Mira Road- Kashimira belt has been transformed into dens for the notorious gambling mafia to conduct online betting activities on cricket matches.
The Local Crime Branch (LCB) unit of the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar Police Commissionerate, apprehended three small-time bookies from a lodge in Kashimira for their involvement in an online cricket betting racket on Friday night.
Acting on a tip-off, a team led by API Pravin Swami and police personnel Ganesh Vanve swooped down on a room in Sahara Lodging and Boarding located on the service of the highway in Kashimira.
According to the police the accused who have been identified as-Abhilash Saner, Sushil Agarwal and Arjun Verma- all residents of Bhayandar (east) were caught red-handed while accepting and placing bets on a T-20 cricket match between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) being held in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu-Dhabi.
The trio was not only using applications and websites like- Lotus and Betfair which were found to be installed in their smartphones but were also using messaging platforms like Whatsapp to connect with punters. The police seized smartphones and SIM cards worth more than Rs 32,000 from the possession of the trio who were booked under the relevant sections of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1985 and Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1987.
However, action eludes the lodge owner who facilitated the illegal betting activities in his premises. “We will ascertain the role of the lodge operator, following which appropriate action will be taken,” said a senior police officer.