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CBI starts probe into IPL betting scam with Pakistan link

The alleged network ran across India to influence public to put money in IPL betting


The CBI has unearthed a pan-India IPL betting network, which has direct links to Pakistan and threatens to emerge as one of the biggest betting scams to influence outcome of IPL matches, after the 2013 spot-fixing scandal. It is also for the first time the Prevention of Corruption Act has been used, as several persons have come under scanner in multiple cities and ''unknown public servants” have been named in the FIR registered by the CBI on Friday.

According to the FIR, the accused tried to influence outcome of IPL matches, at the behest of Pakistani contacts. The scam was unearthed after CBI sleuths got ''reliable'' information that a network of individuals involved in cricket betting are trying to influence the outcome of Indian Premier League matches in 2019 on the basis of inputs received from Pakistan.

The alleged network ran across the country to influence the public to put money in IPL betting. A probe against certain private individuals and ''unknown public servants'' based in Delhi, Jodhpur, Jaipur and Hyderabad has been launched and is likely to be the tip of the iceberg of a massive scandal with cross border connections. According to the CBI, the accused persons were in touch with one Pakistani Waqas Malik, whose number has already been obtained during initial investigation.

The central agency registered two cases on Friday under various sections like criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and others under the Indian Penal Code as well as the Prevention of Corruption Act. The first FIR names three persons - Dileep Kumar, Gurram Satish and Gurram Vasu - who were allegedly involved in betting since 2013 and the CBI has alleged transactions worth Rs 10 crore recovered from the accounts of accused persons.

The second FIR, which was also registered on Friday, names four persons - Sajjan Singh, Prabhu Lal Meena, Ram Avtar and Amit Kumar Sharma - besides unknown government officials and private persons who were active in IPL cricket betting since 2010 and alleged to have made Rs 1 crore transactions.

“A reliable information has been received about a network of individuals involved in cricket betting influencing the outcome of Indian Premier League (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,” said the first FIR registered by the CBI.

The CBI alleged that the accused opened bank accounts (mule accounts) using fake identities and Know Your Customer documents (ID & KYC) in connivance with unknown bank officials. ''These bank accounts have been opened by submitting forged details such as multiple date of births and without due diligence done by the bank officials,'' it said. The CBI further said that part of the money received from the general public for betting was shared with the associates of accused in foreign countries using hawala transactions.

Multiple agencies are on the trail as the central agency is on its feet to uncover the pan India betting network. 

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