New Delhi: Searches were today conducted in several cities including Mumbai, Nagpur, Bhopal and the national capital as part of Enforcement Directorate's probe in the multi-crore betting and money laundering case in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Sources said separate teams of ED sleuths fanned out to these cities and began searches at more than 10 locations on a day when a Supreme Court- constituted panel suspended prominent IPL teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals on charges of their key officials indulging in betting of these matches.
The searches are being conducted by the Ahmedabad zonal office of the agency which is probing instances of multi-crore bets being placed in various editions of the IPL in the country.
“The agency has twice earlier conducted similar searches and today's action is based on further leads obtained by the investigators,” a source said.
After questioning of few bookies operating in Delhi and Mumbai the agency got new addresses and details about the clandestine hideouts used by bookies to place bets in the glamorous T-20 cricket extravaganza, the sources said. Close to 50 sleuths in addition to local police are conducting the searches under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The case pertains to March when the Ahmedabad office of the agency had claimed to have busted the alleged IPL betting racket and had arrested some bookies from a farmhouse on the outskirts of Vadodara city in Gujarat. Later, the probe agency arrested about 16 others, including two suspected bookies from Delhi, in connection with this illegal activity.
The same office registered a money laundering case against two prime suspects and a few others in connection with the alleged racket suspected to be between Rs 1,000-Rs 2,500 crore.
The accused had been earlier charged under Section 418 (cheating), Section 419 (punishment for cheating), Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), Section 467 (forgery of valuable security), Section 471 (using forged document as genuine) along with Section 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code by the agency.