Three more arrests have been made by the Delhi Police today in connection with the spot-fixing case. Sunil Bhatia is a fixer, Kiran Dole is a fixer and a bookie, and Manish Budewa is a former Ranji player. Budewa also used to practice cricket with Chandela, police sources told NDTV. Sources say it was Budewa who got Chandela in touch with others. He was arrested from Aurangabad and will be produced in court later today.
The Working Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) met today to discuss the controversy. BCCI chief N Srinivasan, addressing the media, said that the cricket board is handicapped because it cannot control bookies. He, however, added that it has done everything in its capacity to educate the players. (Read)
Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila were interrogated for the third day today. Sources in the Delhi Police today said they were questioned together for the first time and while, all three confessed to their crime, they blamed each other for dragging them into spot-fixing. However, these confessions are not admissible in a court of law as they have not been recorded before a magistrate.
The Delhi Police is also collecting voice samples of the three players and will match it with the conversations it has recorded with the bookies. The police says it has enough evidence to make a strong case against the three arrested players. It is also probing a wider nexus, which it alleges, is linked to Dubai and Pakistan.
On Friday night, the Mumbai Police in a raid recovered a laptop, mobile phones, iPads and cash worth Rs. 72,000 from the two rooms of a hotel in the city in which Sreesanth and his friend and alleged bookie Jiju Janardhan were staying. Diaries, written in English and Malayalam, were also recovered; cops say several of the entries were made by Sreesanth himself. Sreesanth had independently checked into a five-star hotel just two days before his arrest. (Read: Highlights of Mumbai Police press conference)
The Mumbai Police has also arrested six bookies including Ramesh Vyas, which it says is a "prized catch." Vyas, according to police sources, has links with Sunil Dubai, an alleged mediator between bookies and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's brother Anees Ibrahim. 32 of the 92 phones seized during Vyas's arrest, in fact, had been used for calls, several which have been traced to Dubai and Pakistan. (Read: The D-gang connection)
The bookie's arrest could help cops track the source of funds which, sources say, could have been routed through hawala channels, which has brought the involvement of the Mumbai underworld under the scanner.
Earlier, sources in the Delhi Police had said that Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan had been offered Rs. 40 lakh and Rs. 60 lakh respectively. Ankeet was paid some money in advance, and he spent a part of it, sources add. The money is yet to be recovered.
Teams of Delhi Police's special cell have already been sent to Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Kolkata to conduct searches and track the money trail in the spot-fixing case. One of them went to the residence of Rajasthan Royals player Ajit Chandila in the Delhi suburb of Faridabad for interrogation.
The Delhi Police has also interrogated Amit Singh, a former Rajasthan Royals player who the police suspect was the middleman between bookies and players. He, along with 10 bookies, were arrested on Thursday. Nine more have been arrested in Tamil Nadu since.