Mumbai Crime Branch yesterday produced small-time actor and cricket betting bigwig Vindu Dara Singh in Killa Court, which granted the agency his custody till May 31. Cops say they would now interrogate Vindu, bookie Tinku Delhi whose custody they have secured from Delhi police and Gurunath Meiyappan, together.
A Delhi court has granted Mumbai police custody of Tinku alias Ashwin Jay Narayan Agarwal. Cops said Tinku is the key as he had contacts with Vindu, and several players including S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan who were arrested by Delhi police. Importantly, sources say Mumbai Crime Branch is likely to question the Chennai Super Kings cricketers whose names have appeared in a diary of Meiyappan recovered by investigators during searches at his Chennai residence.
Authorities said they have also learnt that umpire Asad Rauf was given a phone by bookie Jupiter and a SIM card by bookie Pawan Jaipur. Cops said that they have some intercepted transcripts, in which Vindu was telling people that he had asked Rauf to dispose of the SIM card. “We have evidence that Rauf was in touch with Sanjay Jaipur, Pawan Jaipur and Vindu, and might ask the external affairs ministry soon for the umpire’s custody,” said a source from Mumbai Crime Branch.
Cops said the SIM card supplied to Rauf was of the Karnataka circle, issued from Bangalore. They added that under their concord, the umpire could visit India often and do shopping, and the bills were paid by the bookies in cash.
Kin come calling
Meanwhile, Gurunath Meiyappan’s wife Rupa (above) and mother Lalitha visited him in the custody of Property Cell of Mumbai CB yesterday. Sources said that the two women came by a chartered flight from Kodaikanal. “His mother cried on seeing Gurunath in police custody,” said a Crime Branch officer. On the other hand, speaking to several TV channels, Vindu’s wife Dina Umarova (below) said that her husband was being victimised because of political issues in the country.
Spot fixing linked to Dawood: Delhi cops
Delhi Police yesterday told a court that the IPL spot fixing scandal was allegedly linked to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim as bookie Ashwini Aggarwal alias Tinku Mandey was in touch with him and his aides.
Senior public prosecutor Rajiv Mohan told Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Lokesh Kumar Sharma that interception of various telephone calls suggested that “several big names may be involved in the case as calls were made to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim”. Mohan added: “We are missing the link of the whole episode which will be proved very soon. Some big names are also involved which I cannot disclose at this stage and they were in regular contact with D-company.” “Mandey had been in regular touch with the don’s men and players,” police told the court.
“We started our investigation after intercepting calls made from India to a man named Dawood based abroad,” said a police official. Police suspect the number they were tracking belongs to Dawood Ibrahim. “Mandey got calls from a man from India,” the official added. “We started tracking the second man who made the calls. We are also trying to identify this caller who was talking to Tinku Mandey, a bookie who was indulging in spot fixing,” the official said.
The court directed Tihar Jail authorities to present Mandey before a Mumbai court, which issued production warrants against him. “The accused should be brought back before June 4, the day when Mandey’s judicial custody will expire here,” said the court. Mandey was earlier sent to Tihar Jail for judicial custody till June 4, after police said he was no longer needed for interrogation. So far, Delhi Police have arrested 22 accused in the spot fixing scandal.