'Match-fixing' in 2019 IPL: CBI searches seven locations across states, seven booked

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday conducted searches at seven locations across Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Jodhpur in a suspected case pertaining to betting and match-fixing in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The agency has booked seven people in two separate FIRs and said the cases have been registered based on information from Pakistan.

According to the central agency, at least one module of the betting syndicate was in touch with a person from Pakistan, identified as Waqas Malik.

Those booked have been identified as Sajjan Singh from Jodhpur and Prabhu Lal Meena, Ram Avtar and Amit Kumar Sharma from Jaipur under the Rajasthan module; and Dileep Kumar from Delhi, and Gurram Vasu and Gurram Satish from Hyderabad as part of the Delhi-Hyderabad module.

“This network is influencing the outcome of IPL matches based on inputs received from Pakistan. In the garb of betting related to IPL matches, they are cheating the general public by inducing them for betting,” the CBI FIR has said.

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The agency has, however, not specified how the syndicates influenced the outcome of the matches or whether there was any match-fixing. “Information about the syndicate has been received from Pakistan through an international agency. How matches were influenced is being investigated,” a CBI official said.

According to the CBI, the accused had opened multiple bank accounts using fake documents in connivance with bank officials. Cash was deposited in these accounts by those betting in IPL matches. The CBI has alleged that the accounts held by the accused in various banks, such as UCO Bank, Punjab National Bank, SBI, ICICI, Axis, IDBI, HDFC, Bank of India, Citi Bank, Syndicate Bank and Bank of Baroda did not exhibit normal financial activity, did not match the customer profile and had multiple cash deposits.

In the bank accounts operated by the Rajasthan module, the CBI has found suspicious transactions in excess of Rs 78 lakh, while in the accounts operated by the Delhi-Hyderabad module over Rs 10 crore worth of transactions were found to be suspicious.

According to the CBI, the racket has been running for almost a decade and the transactions cited are between FY 2010-11 and FY 2019-20. “It is worth mentioning here that maximum cash deposits in these accounts is of pan-India nature which further substantiates the allegations of these unusual financial transactions being linked with cricket betting and other criminal activities,” CBI has said in the FIR.

The Delhi-Hyderabad module was in touch with Pakistan-based Waqas Malik who contacted Dileep Kumar and Gurram Satish using a Pakistani number, the FIR said. Similarly, the Rajasthan module was allegedly in touch with a person from Pakistan who contacted them through another number.

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