New Delhi, Dec 1 (PTI) A new book dissects the infamous fake IPL scam, detailing how a group of small-time conmen managed to dupe seasoned Russian gamblers by staging this fake version of the popular Indian cricket league.
"Indian Punter League: The True Story of the Fake IPL", authored by Abhishek Bhatt, introduces in three parts the readers to the con artists, takes them through the well-crafted plan, and includes them in the jaw-dropping and thrilling story of how the plan was executed.
The fictionalised account of the true con tells how it almost reached success moments before falling apart completely.
Faizal Ahmed, the young and ambitious protagonist, has one goal in life - he wants to get rich but fast. When an outrageous idea strikes him one day in a gambling den in Moscow, Faizal knew it could be his ticket to big money.
But he has to partner with a mobster and convince Russian gamblers to place high-stakes bets on cricket, a sport they neither watch nor understand.
Cheerfully unscrupulous and entirely self-assured, Faizal prepares to set up the scam of his life. Hawala money, clandestine meetings, discreet text channels, rookie players, camera crews and live streams beaming across the world - this is a con job that spans the globe, from Moscow to Mehsana and back.
The scam was exposed when a team of Gujarat Police stumbled upon a group of men conducting a live cricket match in a remote village. The villagers were dressed in uniforms very similar to the actual IPL merchandise. Upon further investigation, the police discovered that the fake match was being broadcasted to Russian gamblers via a mobile application, who then placed their bets on the outcome of the game.
The Russian gamblers, who were under the impression that they were betting on an actual IPL match, were shocked to learn that they had been misled. The police arrested several individuals involved in the scam and discovered that the fraudsters had made a significant amount of money by tricking the gamblers.
The fake IPL incident in Gujarat highlights the dangers of betting on online platforms and serves as a cautionary tale for all cricket fans.
Published by Westland Books, "Indian Punter League" is slated to be turned into a web series.
Bhatt, a media professional based in New York, says this is "one of those few stories where you almost want the bad guys to succeed because of the sheer ingenuity of their crime. Truly shocked at what they did but kudos to the creativity".