Mumbai: A comprehensive strategy has been drawn up by the Mumbai Police to clamp down on betting syndicates that are likely to be operational in the city during the ICC Cricket World Cup matches.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria held a meeting with his colleagues recently, instructing them to chalk out a strategy to bust cricket betting rackets ahead of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup scheduled to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March 2015.
The Commissioner told his colleagues to hunt down the people accepting bets during the matches, cripple their operations across the city and take all possible preventive measures.
All the 93 police stations and 12 crime branch units in the city have begun checking the records with them to figure out those having the history of accepting bets.
" The Police Commissioner has instructed all the police stations and crime branch units to be vigilant and crack down on betting rings during the matches. We have asked our informers to remain active and intensified our online surveillance," Deputy Police Commissioner Dhananjay Kulkarni said today.
Police suspect that bets worth crores of rupees will be placed during the matches, especially during the India v/s Pakistan match to be played on February 15.
"The underworld has always been keen to ensure the betting rackets flourish in the country, particularly in Mumbai and nearby areas. A small hint of betting is enough for police to swoop down on the crime spot," said another officer.
In May 2013, Mumbai Police had cracked down on the cash-rich IPL betting syndicate that sent shock waves in the cricketing world.
While probing the case, police found an evidence linking Gurunath Meiyappan, BCCI President N Srinivasan's son-in-law and former Chennai Super Kings Team Principal, and Bollywood actor Vindu Dara Singh with a cartel that subsequently led to their arrest along with 20 others.
Asad Rauf, who was a member of the ICC elite panel of umpires and 15 alleged bookies from Pakistan were found to have conspired and played significant role in the entire syndicate.
At the same time, Delhi Police had busted an IPL betting racket and arrested Rajasthan Royals players-- S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila, Ankeet Chavan and others and filed a charge sheet against them.
Meiyappan, along with Vindu and 20 others were named in a charge sheet filed by Mumbai Police in a court here in September 2013. Asad Rauf and 15 alleged bookies from Pakistan have been named as "wanted accused" in the 11,500-page charge sheet.