Top Indian bookie arrested, had links in Pakistan too

Top Indian bookie arrested, had links in Pakistan too

NEW DELHI - The anti-extortion cell of the Indian Crime Branch on Tuesday arrested Sonu Yogendra Jalan, alias Sonu Malad, one of the country’s leading cricket bookies. He was arrested in connection with a betting racket that was busted in Dombivali on May 16.

Jalan was arrested from Kalyan on Tuesday evening by the anti-extortion cell for providing software to the five bookies who were arrested in the Dombivali case.

“His software called ‘Bet and Take’ is quite famous among bookies and is used by them in India and internationally as well,” said police inspector Rajkumar Kotmire, of the Thane anti-extortion cell. “His arrest is big, as it will help us unearth the national and international network of bookies,” he added.

On May 16, four bookies – Gautam Savla, 43, Nitin Punjani, 28, Nikhil Sampat, 53 and Khushal Khimji, 41 were arrested by the anti-extortion cell during a raid in a shop at Shanti Sadan, Dombivli east. They were caught betting online as well as on their mobile phone during the Indian Premier League match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab at Wankhede stadium. This was followed by the arrest of one more bookie Vrajesh Joshi, 27

Sonu Jalan who stays at Kandivli has a monthly turnover of above Rs 500 crore and the cops suspect that during this year’s IPL it might have crossed Rs 1000 crore. He was last arrested in 2012 by the Mumbai police for betting on the IPL match at that time. He also told the cops during investigation that he paid Rs 10 crore to a Sri Lankan player to fix a match.

He has clients as well as punters in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. “We will produce him in Thane court tomorrow for further custody,” he adds.

Earlier this week, the International Cricket Council (ICC) responded to a documentary by TV channel Al Jazeera alleging pitch doctoring and match fixing in three Test matches. The ICC's anti-corruption unit said that it is taking the allegations extremely seriously and an investigation is underway.

"The ICC has now had the opportunity to view the documentary into corruption in cricket and as we have previously stated, we are taking the contents of the programme and the allegations it has made extremely seriously. A full investigation led by the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit, working with full cooperation from all Member countries identified in the programme, is now underway to examine each claim made," Alex Marshall, ICC general manager, anti-corruption unit said.