GUWAHATI: The crime branch busted a cricket betting racket on Thursday morning. Acting on a lead, the crime branch sleuth raided a flat in a private apartment in city's Ganeshguri area and nabbed three persons who were running the racket and collecting bets on the ICC World Cup quarter final match played between India and Bangladesh.
They were identified as Rajesh Jain and Rakesh Sharma, both hailing from city's Kumarpara area and one Pawan Maheswari from Jatia area here. Though no cash was seized, police recovered some 20 mobile phones, account books, laptops from the gang.
"The three had taken a flat for rent before the starting of the World Cup and was operating from them. They were collecting bets from several consumers, which they call as 'counters' in this business, over mobile phone calls and internet," a crime branch senior official said.
The official informed that the racket has most numbers of customers from Siliguri in West Bengal. Names of three to four consumers from Guwahati too revealed in the preliminary probe.
"Initial inquiry revealed that the gang is linked to one person known as Sukhdev who is believed to be controlling several betting rackets across the country including this," the official added.
Sources said that Sukhdev is known to be an influential person of Bikaneri in Rajasthan and has contacts with international betting groups.
The crime branch is now trying to decode the various accounts of the bookies. Police suspected that the three were involved in a betting racket in the tune of over several lakhs of rupees.
The betting business is estimated to run anywhere from Rs 15 lakhs to over 10 crores per match. The exact numbers could never be estimated as these rackets work in decentralised manner.
"Usually a bookie never accepts bets from an unknown person. If you wish to place a bet you need a referral. The referral will introduce you to the bookie and only then your bets will be placed. If you fail to make the payment the reference is made to pay up," the cop added.
Bets are placed starting from who will win the toss, modes of dismissal of batsmen, on total score in a session etc. Spot-fixing, for example, is how many runs a bowler will give in an over.
Investigations into the operations of the racket have revealed that many small traders, students and businessmen were participating in the cricket betting. A few of those participating in the racket were committing thefts in their houses, the police said.