The IPL spot-fixing controversy acquired a sinister edge on Saturday. Delhi Police sleuths investigating the crime said that D Company mobsters controlling the illegal betting operations were desperate to involve other young IPL players to join the spot-fixing racket.
According to transcripts of recorded phone conversations between bookies and gangsters, the criminals instructed bookies to threaten someyoung players with dire consequences if they refused to cooperate.
Cops refused to divulge the players’ names but added that the gangsters seemed desperate to drag them into the racket. “Sometimes, when a player refused to take money, he was threatened. Anybody would be scared hearing the names of Dawood Ibrahim and Tiger Memon. But we need to verify all these things,” a Delhi Police source said.
The underworld was also furious at Ajit Chandila for forgetting to signal before bowling the ‘fixed’ over on May 5. In a conversation with a bookie, a gangster is heard using foul language while referring to Chandila.
In an intercepted telephone conversation, a mobster can be heard asking a bookie to get Ajit Chandila to act as per plan or the bowler would face dire consequences.
“Saala… kaise nahi karega, paisa liya hai”. Cops also said that Chandila definitely took money from bookies on several occasions and that they used to visit his house too.
During the interrogation, some of the bookies revealed that they often travelled with the players on the same flights and stayed with them in the same hotels. “The bookies deliberately stayed around the players so that the underworld could be informed whether the work was being done properly or not,” said the source.
Police have footage of a few hotels where the tainted trio – S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Chandila – are seen in the company of bookies. “We have footage of players meeting bookies and also the delivery of money as evidence,” said the source.
Officials also said that these bookies are part of just one group working for the underworld. They have been focusing their interrogation mainly on Ashish Aggarwal, Chandresh, Jiju, Manan and player-turned-bookie Amit Singh. Cops also suspect such groups of bookies all over India, who work in silos for the underworld with one group unaware of the other.
“There are hierarchies of bookies who report to a master bookie. We suspect he sits in Mumbai and is continuously monitored by Tiger Memon from Dubai,” said the source.