IPL betting: Key bookie Shobhan Mehta arrested
Mumbai: City police on Friday arrested a big-time bookie Shobhan Mehta in connection with the IPL betting scandal after picking him from Goa, taking the total number of arrests in the case to 17, police said.
Acting on a tip-off, a crime branch team laid a trap and picked up Mehta alias Kalachowkie, 48, from a casino on a boat at Goa yesterday and placed him under arrest today after bringing him to the city, police said.
"Mehta was with his family when he was picked up. He would be produced before a court tomorrow," the officer said.
Mumbai police, probing the IPL betting syndicate, had earlier arrested 16 accused in the case, including Chennai Super Kings owner Gurunath Meiyappan, who is also son-in-law of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President N Srinivasan, Bollywood actor Vindoo Dara Singh, and bookies Ramesh Vyas, Ashok Vyas, Pandurang Kadam among others.
"Mehta had been staying in Goa since June 28 and used to spend time in the casino throughout the day before leaving for a hotel late evening," the officer said.
Mehta`s last call was traced to Mumbai on May 15, police said adding that he was in touch with Chandresh Patel alias Jupiter, who was arrested by Delhi police in connection with the IPL spot fixing case.
"Mehta was also in touch with arrested accused Vyas, Ashwin Agarwal alias Tinku Delhi and wanted accused Pavan Jaipur and Sanjay Jaipur in the IPL betting case," the officer said.
Police claimed he placed bets and earned crores of rupees through IPL betting, but did not reveal the amount he pocketed.
Shobhan is infamous in the city for posting bets from film stars and producers, procuring women for players, and throwing parties for foreign cricketers in order to carry out match fixing. He had connections with Dubai and Karachi, sources said.
He was earlier arrested in 2005 in a betting case and he is alleged to have established a well-connected network spreading across Mumbai, Jaipur, Chennai, Calcutta and Delhi.