IPL spot-fixing: cops probing Bollywood, Tollywood links

Mumbai: Amid suspicion that a honey-trap could have been laid to lure cricketers into the latest spot-fixing scandal, Mumbai police on Monday quizzed a casting director, who sent photographs of female models to India pacer S Sreesanth arrested in the case.

The laptop seized from the hotel room of the disgraced speedster, a day after his arrest by Delhi Police's Special Cell on May 15, contained photos of models, some of whom were seen moving very close to him, sources in the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, which is investigating the case, said.

The investigators probing a separate spot-fixing case in Mumbai, have also summoned a Telugu film producer, having business links with Sreesanth, for questioning.

According to Crime Branch sources, Sreesanth's e-mail account had dozens of photographs of models sent by the casting director over the past few months on request.

"The director claimed that Sreesanth wanted the photographs of the models for the purpose of selecting them for advertisements to promote his company S36, which is into supplying mineral water, apparels and sports goods," a Crime Branch officer told PTI.

The officer added the Telugu film producer would be questioned in a couple of days.

A person from Tamarind Tours and Travels, through which the cricketer booked two rooms in 5 star Sofitel hotel in suburban Bandra, was also questioned, he said.

Sources said they are also verifying if the casting director's e-mails containing photos of the models were also sent to other cricketers.

On May 16, Mumbai Crime Branch sleuths had searched the hotel rooms occupied by Sreesanth and Jiju Janardan, his close friend and bookie arrested by Delhi police in connection with the spot-fixing scandal.

Delhi Police arrested Sreesanth, his Rajasthan Royals teammates — Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan — and Jiju on May 15 for allegedly indulging in spot-fixing in at least three IPL matches as per arrangements with bookies with underworld connections abroad.