New Delhi: A day after Delhi Police commissioner Neeraj Kumar said that the "mastermind" of the IPL spot-fixing operation is abroad, the role of the Mumbai underworld in the latest betting scandal to hit Indian cricket is coming in for close scrutiny.
Mr Kumar had said that investigations by the Delhi Police started after they received a tip-off from an informant that members of the Mumbai underworld were in touch with Indian bookies and were trying to spot-fix games. He also said that the police probe showed that the mastermind he referred to was using a Dubai number.
This has led to much speculation about who these outside handlers might be. Is the infamous D-gang, headed by Dawood Ibrahim, part of the plot? Mr Kumar yesterday had categorically said that there was no evidence to show that Dawood Ibrahim is involved.
But sources say the possible involvement of his associates is being probed as part of the ongoing investigations. This, they say, is because the call data records of three of the 10 arrested bookies show that they made calls to Pakistan and Dubai, from where the D-gang largely operates.
In a further twist to the tale, the lawyer of arrested cricketer Ajit Chandila today said that he was threatened by the D-gang and that he had informed the Rajasthan Royals' team management about this.
The D-gang has been accused of betting big on cricket in the past. It has been alleged that its syndicate is supervised by Dawood Ibrahim's brother Anees Ibrahim and its operations are spread across Asia and Europe. Anees Inbrahim is said to be assisted by Chotta Shakeel.
Two others - Sunil Dubai and Dr Karachiwala - allegedly play the role of mediators between Indian bookies and Anees Ibrahim. Sunil Dubai's four important contacts, assigned with the task of managing Indian bookies, are said to be Tikku, Jupiter, Junior Kolkatta, and Ramesh Vyas. Tikku is in Delhi Police's custody and Ramesh Vyas was arrested by Mumbai Police two days ago in a bookie racket busted by them.
Meanwhile, six more bookies were detained in Chennai today and police said at least Rs. 14 lakh in cash has been recovered in searches conducted across the city.
S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, and Ankeet Chavan are accused of spot-fixing games in the ongoing sixth edition of the Indian Premier League. They are currently in police custody along with 10 alleged bookies and a middle man.