Bookie Shobhan Mehta sent in police custody
Mumbai: A big-time bookie Shobhan Mehta, arrested in connection with the IPL betting scandal, was on Saturday remanded in city police custody as investigators want to probe his alleged role in spot-fixing and links in Pakistan.
Mehta was produced before a Magistrate in Esplanade Court, which sent him in police remand for six days. Police told the court that Mehta was involved in placing large scale bets in the just-concluded IPL season in the name of "Arjun" through arrested bookie Ashwin Agarwal alias Tinku Delhi.
Ashwin had been earlier arrested by Delhi Police in IPL spot-fixing scandal. Later, Mumbai Crime Branch, probing the IPL betting case, took his custody.
Since he was in touch with Ashwin, Mehta may be involved in spot-fixing also, police said, adding "We want to probe and uncover his suspected role in spot-fixing."
Police stated Mehta was arrested in 2005 in a betting case and he had links in Pakistan. "We would like to probe if he was in touch with Pakistan associates this time also."
The investigators said Mehta had three cellphones with SIM cards procured in the name of Manish Shah. He got these cards using fake documents. Two of these phones are yet to be recovered. He was also in touch with some of the arrested and wanted accused in the IPL betting case.
After hearing the arguments, the Magistrate sent him in police custody till July 12.
Mehta alias Kalachowkie, 48, was picked up from a casino on-board a boat in Goa on Thursday and formally arrested by Mumbai Police yesterday.
With this, the number of accused in the betting case has gone up to 17. These included Chennai Super Kings owner Gurunath Meiyappan, who is also son-in-law of Cricket Board President N Srinivasan, Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh, and bookies Ramesh Vyas, Ashok Vyas, Pandurang Kadam. Meiyappan and Vindoo are out on bail.
In the spot-fixing case, the Delhi Police had arrested three cricketers - S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan of Rajasthan Royals - and 25 others.