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IPL fixing sting: Scandal gets murkier with cop hinting at police role

New Delhi: Close on the heels of revelations made by Bollywood actor Vindu Dara Singh in a Zee News expose on match mixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), it has now emerged that even the investigating agency, the Tamil Nadu CB-CID, is in cahoots with the bookies and is refraining from examining the match-fixing angle by confining the probe to a betting case only.

The fresh sting operation, to be aired tonight on Zee News at 7:00pm, also points to the alleged involvement of Dawood Ibrahim and exposes how the underworld don’s aides are at work on a new betting website in the UK for IPL-7.

G Sampath Kumar, a Tamil Nadu-based police officer who had deposed before the Justice Mudgal Committee, spilled the beans on the details of IPL match-fixing.

Deposing before the panel, Kumar had said that hotelier Vikram Aggrawal informed Kitty, a bookie, that a match-fixing deal between Rajasthan (RR) and Chennai (CSK) had been agreed via Gurunath Meiyappan.

In an expose on Zee News, Sampath claimed that CB-CID officers are trying to save the culprits by hiding the match-fixing angle of the story despite serious allegations. He claimed that hotelier Vikram Aggrawal had paid hefty sums to top police officials. Twenty-four hours after he made the revelations to Zee News, the whistleblower top cop was hastily suspended.

Sampath was earlier posted as the superintendent of police with the Q Branch CID (internal security) in Chennai, but was later shifted to the Railways. Kumar says that he stumbled upon the meandering details of IPL match-fixing and betting maze while working on the case of fake passports.

Talking about the expose, Zee News editor Sudhir Chaudhary said: “After our 1st expose on match fixing cricket fans all over the country called us and expressed their disappointment. Fans who get up at 3 am to watch our team play deserve some concrete answers to their doubts. We want every bit of information on match fixing to appear in public domain so that this investigation doesn’t end with a small expose of little knows bookies and leaving big sharks outside. Further probe in betting will lead us to match fixing. Zee News is committed to bring out the truth no matter how inconvenient it is for us or for others”

Following are some excerpts from the exposé:

Sampath Kumar: After I had zeroed in on Harish Bajaj following the recovery of Rs 9.39 lakh from one of his aides, SP Anbu (who was later posted to CB-CID) sent to me an Advocate. The Advocate offered me some money and assured that Harish Bajaj has nothing to do with hawala or passport racketing and that he is just involved in betting. (Later in the sting, Kumar speaks of SP Anbu as a police officer who protects bookies.)

Reporter: Just for my knowledge, can you say how much did he offer you?

Sampath Kumar: He offered me Rs 2 crores.

Then SP Anbu asked me to deal with him (the advocate). But I didn’t say anything as I was on the lookout for something interesting.

Sampath Kumar then explains why he wanted to investigate Harish Bajaj, saying he used to bet on a website that was being run by the underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s close aide Iqbal Mirchi (who is no more alive). Thus, even though a cricket bookie might have nothing to do with the internal security, the hawala transactions and the money flow through the betting website may be linked to terror activities.

Reporter: Were you suspicious about the involvement of Iqbal Mirchi?

Sampath Kumar: Yes, we had an input about Iqbal Memon’s involvement and we had passed it on to relevant central agencies. Because, Iqbal Memon was taking care of Dawood’s business interests in London.

So, even though Mirchi is no more, his gang still operates in London and I think they might start the website again with some other name for the IPL-7.

Then Harish Bajaj was handed over to me and I started the investigation into the website. Then on 23rd May, another man named Uttam Jain alias Kitty came into the picture. He was the one who had introduced Bajaj to the betting world. The case of Kitty was pending with the CB-CID, but he wanted to surrender to the Q branch, as he was afraid of hotelier Vikram Aggrawal’s connections in the CB-CID. Then I spoke to some officials of the CB-CID like IG Manjunatha and SP Rajeshwari (who were later transferred). They allowed me to quiz Kitty.

So, whatever Kitty told us, we informed Narendrapal Singh, the DG, CB-CID via an ”unsend note”. But later, all the officials including me, were shifted and SP Anbu was posted to CB-CID. The confession which Anbu recorded had nothing of what I had informed them. They didn’t show anything regarding match fixing-in that.

The top officials of CB-CID, namely DG Narendra Pal Singh, ADG Karan Singh and SP Anbu, were overseeing the process.

Sampath Kumar claims that SP Anbu then tried to implicate him by recording a false confession which said that Ranga was told to collect money by the cop.

Reporter: What went wrong?

Sampath Kumar: I am telling you this off-the-record because I am in service.

Vandana Aggrawal, wife of Vikram Aggrawal, worked out some deal with the wife of DG NP Singh. Huge money transactions have taken place between the DG, the ADG and SP Anbu of CB-CID. They want to put under wrap this match-fixing episode. They want to conclude the probe from match-betting angle.

The cop further claims that CB-CID DG NP Singh, who is to retire within the next four months, has so far got just the first instalment of the money. And if any conspiracy of match-fixing is exposed, he won’t get the second tranche of the moolah. So, he is trying to keep Kumar under check by keeping open the case against him.

Kumar has further suggested that the probe should be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and not the CBI, as the DG NP Singh has many connections there.