ICC official "warned" Meiyappan over bookie links, claim Mumbai police
An ICC official had "warned" CSK team owner Gurunath Meiyappan to be "careful" about his association with bookies weeks before he was arrested in connection with the IPL betting scandal, police said today.
More embarrassing information today tumbled out of police interrogation of Gurunath Meiyappan after he allegedly revealed that he was warned by ICC to keep away from bookies at the start of IPL 6, pushing his father-in-law and BCCI President N Srinivasan further to the corner as the chorus for his ouster grew.
An official of the anti-corruption unit of the highest governing body of international cricket had verbally asked Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI president N Srinivasan, to steer clear of the bookies after the activities of the Chennai franchise honcho came to their notice, a top crime branch officer involved in the investigation said.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) is also reported to have warned the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) about Meiyappan's frequent interactions with bookies during the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
According to TV reports, the transcripts of conversations between Meiyappan and Vindu have revealed Meiyappan telling Vindu that ICC had warned the BCCI about his spot-fixing trade offs.
The transcripts have revealed that Meiyappan had a huge role to play in giving orders to Vindu. He gave out instructions of bets on specific runs in an over.
It is also revealed that someone in the BCCI had tipped off Meiyappan regarding the ICC warning, which in itself is a crime under Indian law.
“Be careful, I have been warned,” Meiyappan had told actor Vindu Dara Singh who is also under arrest in the case.
Reacting to the news, Srinivasan said that the BCCI hadn’t received any warning from ICC on his son-in-law, Gurunath Meiyappan.
Srinivasan said, “I have checked with BCCI officials, we have never received any warning.”
Mumbai Police sources claimed that during interrogation Gurunath, arrested on charges of betting, had told investigators that he was warned by officials of
the anti-corruption unit to keep away from suspicious characters. They said Gurunath did not use the word bookies apparently because it was obvious to him and to the police that he was dealing with a bookie like Vindoo Dara Singh and allegedly placing bets.
This is part of Meiyappan’s statement to the crime branch, the source said, adding Vindu has corroborated it.
The source declined to reveal the name of the Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) official and said they were yet to corroborate it with the ICC.
“We are yet to corroborate Meiyappan’s statement with ICC and we at the moment don’t even know if any person by that name (given by Meiyappan) exists,” he said.
The ACSU keeps players, team members and umpires under surveillance in order to check malpractices in the game.
Crime branch sources said that at no stage BCCI was informed about the "dubious" activities of Meiyappan.
"The ACSU official was in direct communication with Meiyappan. BCCI was not informed about it," they said.
Sources said when Meiyappan was asked why such warning was issued to him, he (CSK owner) replied "probably because of the company (Vindoo and other bookies) I kept."
They said the crime branch did not have any transcript of the telephonic conversations Meiyappan had with Vindu with regard to the ICC official asking the former to beware of bookies.