Mazhar, wife and Azhar arrested in spot-fixing scam

Updated: Aug 31, 2010, 23:33 PM IST

London: Mazhar Majeed, the Pakistani-origin man at the centre of match-fixing allegations, his wife and elder brother have been arrested by Customs officers investigating a multi-million pound money laundering operation.

Mazhar Majeed and his wife were arrested at their home at the weekend and questioned before being released pending further inquiries.

Azhar Majeed, 49, Mazhar Majeed`s elder brother and business partner in the agency that represents Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamir and a number of other Pakistan international players, was also arrested in Wembley, North London on Sunday.

The arrests were made as part of an ongoing inquiry by officials.

A source said that they usually only investigated money laundering allegations if it involved "huge sums of money and had links to organised crime."

According to Sky News this is a separate, criminal investigation into allegations around cricket match fixing.

"Mazhar Majeed, the Pakistan players` agent and fixer at the centre of the News of the World story was re-arrested by the customs service as part of a connected investigation into money laundering. He was released only today," Sky TV said.

Majeed was arrested by the Scotland Yard on Saturday over allegations of conspiracy to defraud bookmakers.

All three were questioned by customs investigators around suspicion of money laundering in connection with cricket match fixing and were released on bail.

"The inquiry is quite separate to the Scotland Yard investigation into defrauding bookmakers but is part of the bigger area of match fixing claims made against members of the Pakistan team," the Sky news said.

Majeed has been bailed to appear before police at a future date. He is alleged to have offered the bribes.

News of the arrests emerged as three of the Pakistan cricketers at the centre of the scandal -- pace duo Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir and Test skipper Salman Butt – were summoned to London to meet officials.

They will meet the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt and the country`s High Commisioner tomorrow.

The players are then expected to return to the squad in Somerset.

World cricket was rocked by the spot-fixing scam after `News of the World` posted a `sting operation` video showing an alleged fixer Mazhar Majeed making bowlers Aamir and Asif bowl deliberate no-balls during the fourth Test against England at Lord`s.

British investigators are also probing the involvement of Salman Butt, from whose hotel room 50,000 pounds was reportedly recovered by police.

PTI