Vikash Sharma

Berhampur: Preliminary investigation by the Berhampur police into the IPL betting syndicate which was busted in the city earlier during the day has revealed that the conduits were in close touch with bookies across major cities in the country as well as Dubai.

Southern Range Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Satyabrata Bhoi said that the kingpin of the syndicate, identified as Lalie Achari, was in close touch with bookies in different parts of the country including Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. A distant Dubai connection has also emerged during the probe, police said.

Earlier on Friday, the police had busted the syndicate and arrested the two conduits, including Achari (50), and seized cash over Rs 33 lakh from the latter’s possession. Police said that the betting racket was operating over the internet through mobile Apps and websites. The websites are registered in Dubai.

Bhoi informed that the Achari has been active for the last 5-7 years.

“As the Apps and websites which were used to carry out betting were registered outside the country, it is suspected that the roots of the illegal trade has spread to various other countries too,” said Bhoi.

Giving details on the modus operandi of the syndicate, Bhoi stated that the bookies were earlier dependent heavily on physical transactions through their respective agents. But now the entire operation is being carried out over mobile phones.

“As multiple layers (chain of people, bookies and customers) are involved, it usually gets difficult for enforcement agencies to track down such syndicates,” said Bhoi.

Berhampur SP, Pinak Mishra said multiple betting apps are available on various open source networks and most of the websites are registered outside the country. This particular syndicate had set up its own network and the conduits used to collect money through their agents. The entire operation was controlled by the prime accused Lalie Achari, he said.

“As the entire operation was conducted online and there is no physical trail, we are facing problems to collect credible evidence. However, we have managed to nab two persons and suspect the involvement of many more individuals in the syndicate,” said Mishra.

According to the police, the IPL betting syndicate operating out of Berhampur had a punter base spread across several cities in the country.

“The network of such IPL betting rackets spread across cities in the country and even outside. The betting takes place over teams and important matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The total volume of business may go up to Rs 5 to 10 lakh per day,” said Bhoi.

Also Read: Berhampur: IPL Betting Racket Busted; 2 Held, Over Rs 33 Lakh Seized