A day after the spot-fixing scandal split open to rain on the Indian Premier League parade, the Mumbai Crime Branch raided a room in a five-star hotel in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), which was allegedly occupied by ace bowler S Sreesanth, who was arrested by the Delhi Police on Thursday.
Around 8.30 pm on Friday night, a Crime Branch team raided a room in Sofitel, located opposite the American Consulate in BKC, without letting Delhi Police get wind of the operation. Police officials have recovered Sreesanth’s belongings from the room, and also found crucial clues in the ongoing investigations in the spot-fixing scandal, sources said. Earlier this week, the Crime Branch had arrested a bunch of bookies, and it was after interrogating them that the cops landed at the room where Sreesanth had stayed.
Sreesanth’s interrogations by the Delhi Police had revealed that he had apparently been staying with a friend at Carter Road in Bandra. But the Crime Branch investigations disclosed that he had, in fact, booked a room at the swish hotel. “We swooped in on the premises and have drawn up a panchnama. We recovered a bag with Sreesanth’s ID cards and clothes,” said a Crime Branch official.
Police are tight-lipped about other objects recovered from the room. It is likely that a large amount of cash was also recovered. In the early hours of Thursday, the Delhi Police arrested Sreesanth, and his Rajasthan Royals teammates Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila on the suspicion of spot-fixing three matches in the IPL.
A special team of the Delhi Police had been hot on the cricketers’ trail for the past few weeks. A day before the arrests, the sleuths kept close tabs on each and every movement of Sreesanth and his two teammates. Even at the time Sreesanth left Wankhede Stadium after losing the match against Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, cops were ceaselessly tracking him. The thorough surveillance culminated that night in a brilliantly laid trap outside a pub in Bandra, where the cricketer had allegedly gone to meet a bookie. Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy denied that any such raid had taken place.