Police custody of Meiyappan, Vindoo extended till June 3

A Mumbai court on Friday extended the police remand of CSK team owner Gurunath Meiyappan, actor Vindoo Dara Singh and two others arrested in the IPL betting case till June 3 after prosecution sought further custody to unravel their connection with absconding bookies.

Additional Metropolitan Magistrate A. A. Khan granted the Crime Branch’s plea for extending their remand, rejecting the defence counsel’s contention that the offence Mr. Meiyappan and Mr. Singh had been booked for was bailable and that they had already spent “sufficient time” in Mumbai Police’s custody.

In its remand application, the police said Mr. Meiyappan, Mr. Singh, Alpesh Patel, a hawala operator, and Prem Taneja, a conduit for bookies, needed to be interrogated further to know about wanted bookies Sanjay Jaipur, Pawan Jaipur and Jupiter.

A Crime Branch team, it said, has been despatched to Goa to bring Paresh Batia, another bookie, who was in contact with some of the accused in the case.

Mr. Meiyappan, armed with privileged information as CSK’s Team Principal, is alleged to have placed “huge bets” on IPL matches after fixing the game, including those involving the Chennai franchise. He is said to have lost Rs one crore through betting.

Meanwhile, Vikram Agarwal, owner of the Radisson Blu hotel in Chennai — known in betting circles as Victor — appeared before the Crime Branch to record his statement, sources said.

Mr. Agarwal, a friend of Mr. Meiyappan for the last 15 years, allegedly led the IPL betting syndicate in the southern city and was a crucial link between CSK team owner and Mr. Singh. According to Himanshu Roy, Joint Commissioner (crime), Mr. Agarwal is a “key link” between the betting syndicate and Bollywood celebrities.

Ashwin Agarwal alias Tinku Delhi, arrested by the special cell of Delhi Police, has also been brought to the Crime Branch office for recording his statement. His interrogation is likely to shed light on the Pakistani connection to the betting racket, sources said.

According to sources, he is likely to be formally arrested by Mumbai Police in connection with the betting case being probed by it and produced before a court for seeking his remand.


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