BCCI's Anti-Corruption Unit Hands Over Suspected Bookies, Mumbai Police's Response Raises Questions

BCCI's Anti-Corruption Unit Hands Over Suspected Bookies, Mumbai Police's Response Raises Questions

According to a BCCI official, the ACU handed over two suspected bookies to local police from a corporate box during the Rajasthan Royals’ home game against Delhi Capitals on March 28.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Thursday, April 18, 2024, 02:38 AM IST
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The Anti Corruption Unit of the BCCI, which is actively working against betting on cricket, had handed over four suspected bookies to the police in Jaipur and Mumbai on March 28 and April 1 respectively. But while the police in Jaipur registered an FIR against two suspects, in Mumbai the police questioned the duo, checked their mobile phones and let them off.

A source in the BCCI told FPJ on Wednesday that he was not aware why the police did not act against the suspects. The ACU had spotted the two suspects in the President's Box of Wankhede on April 1 when the Mumbai Indians Vs Rajasthan Royals was being played. On finding their actions suspicious, the ACU handed them over to Marine Lines police in whose jurisdiction Wankhede stadium is located. However, the police let them go after questioning them. Now, the ACU is a professional body which has dossiers on bookies and others involved in manipulating matches. Hence, it must have handed over the two people after due diligence and that is why it is surprising how the Marine Lines police let go the two men who had got access to the prime President's Box at Wankhede.

The FPJ contacted senior inspector of Marine Lines police station Nilesh Bagul and he confirmed that the  BCCI did hand over two suspects to his police station. The suspicion was that they were involved in online betting. "However, we checked (their mobiles) through our own staff and also took the help of a private agency and we did not find any suspicious activity. Hence we let them go after informing the ACU, " Bagul added.

ACU's Vigilance In IPL 2024

According to a BCCI official, the ACU handed over two suspected bookies to local police from a corporate box during the Rajasthan Royals’ home game against Delhi Capitals on March 28. Later on April 1, two suspects were handed over to police from the MCA President’s Box at the Wankhede Stadium.

The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been vigilant in its watch on untoward elements during the Indian Premier League (IPL). So far in IPL 2024, the ACU has evicted suspected bookies from two venues, both involving Rajasthan Royals, in Mumbai and Jaipur.

While an FIR was lodged against both the individuals in Jaipur, the case in Mumbai ended up being a possible case of mistaken identity. According to a Marine Drive Police Station officer, the two individuals were let go since “nothing untoward was found on their electronic devices”.

Exploiting Real-Time Information And ACU Vigilance

Attending a match in person and relaying information real-time tends to help bookies exploit the eight-to-fifteen 15 seconds lapse between real-time action and live telecast or streaming. The ACU is understood to have swung into action based on CCTV and live TV footage. The BCCI official, on condition of anonymity, stressed that the ACU, with the support of the BCCI machinery, is “doing its best to keep corrupt elements away from the IPL”.

Interestingly, the MCA President’s Box – situated right above the Wankhede Stadium dressing rooms - is strictly meant for invitees, with none of the 200 tickets sold to the general public.

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