Kingpin of the racket, Sonu Jalan, told investigators that filmmaker Sajid Khan was one of his clients and he used to place bets for him on cricket matches. However, Sonu said that he had not placed any bets for the past seven years. Police said they will investigate the involvement of Sajid Khan and then decide if he needs to be questioned.
Jalan, who ran his operation from Mumbai, had earlier named Arbaaz, who confessed to cops that he had lost Rs 2.8 crore in betting. The bookie is said to be close to the Dawood Ibrahim gang and his scam was spread over several countries. According to officials, the scam could be worth hundreds of crores.
On Tuesday, the Thane anti-extortion cell recovered screenshots of betting rates from Jalan’s mobile phone. They had moved the operation online this year and placed the bets through a website called betntake.com, police said.
One such screenshot dated May 28 shows the betting rates of a match between Sunrisers Hyderabad v/s Delhi Daredevils.
Sameer Buddha, brother of a former cop who was summoned by the anti-extortion cell, appeared before the investigators today. He fell on the police’s radar after a car registered in his name was recovered from Jalan during his arrest on May 29.
Sameer told the cops that he was a partner of Jalan in an automobile spare parts business, which was established in the year 2014 by the name Victor Overseas. The business did not run well and so they had to shut it down. Sameer said he had sold the car to Sonu, but did not get the records updated.
“According to Sameer, he bought the car in 2015 and sold it to Sonu in 2016. However, Sonu had not transferred the vehicle in his name. Sameer also told that he had nothing to do with Sonu’s betting racket” senior inspector Pradeep Sharma told News18. Sameer was introduced to Sonu by Sameer’s brother, a former cop.
Meanwhile, a team of CBI sleuths interrogated Jalan in connection with a case of criminal conspiracy registered against him in Ahmedabad in 2015, which involved then Enforcement Directorate of Ahmedabad, J P Singh.
Sonu Jalan, JK Aurora and Jaiyesh Thakkar were arrested in the case in 2016. The ED’s Ahmedabad unit was probing two important cases – Rs 2,600 crore IPL betting scandal and Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case against alleged hawala operator Afroz Fatta in which the suspects allegedly sought favours.
It is alleged that Singh and two other ED officers would threaten the accused persons and suspects and extort money.