Ramesh Vyas, the bookie who made headlines after being arrested in the IPL betting scam, defrauded his own employees as well as the owner of a paan shop to get their documents to obtain SIM cards, which he used to hook up Indian bookies with their counterparts in Pakistan and Dubai.
The chargesheet (a copy of which is with MiD DAY) submitted in court on Saturday by the Mumbai Crime Branch revealed how the main accused in the betting scandal, Vyas, lied to the paan vendor and the workers at his sweet shop to acquire their documents, which he then used to obtain SIM cards.
On June 12, the Crime Branch recorded the statement of 33-year-old Kalbadevi resident Jitendra Chaurasia, who runs five paan shops in Mumbai, one of them at Gaiwadi in Kalbadevi.
Earlier in February and March, Vyas, who owns a mobile shop by the name of Yash Communication Centre, approached Chaurasia twice. He told him that under a special scheme, a certain network provider was giving free SIM cards -- one only needed to submit photographs and documents to get them.
Interested in the offer, Chaurasia gave Vyas the ID proofs of his mother Indravati, brother Virendra, cousins Surendra and Manoj, uncle Hiralal, and friends Umakant Tiwari and Balaram Yadav. After taking the documents, Vyas obtained the SIM cards but kept them for himself.
“I was not aware that Vyas was involved in the betting racket. I have given the statement to the police,” said Chaurasia.
Vyas adopted the same idea to get more SIMs from the employees at his Kalbadevi sweet shop, Bajrang Sweets. A few months ago, he told them that the government was cutting service fund from their salaries and for nomination forms, he needed their photo IDs and other relevant papers. One Satendra Jha gave his and his wife’s documents to Vyas.
“I never suspected my employer. I gave him the documents he asked for. I didn’t know he was so deep in the betting racket. I have given my statement to the police,” said Satendra, who still works at Vyas’ sweet shop.
Eight months ago, Vyas had contacted other employees Ramvilas Govind Mandal (40), Mitul Doshi, Ram Shobhit Chaupal and Shiv Bachan Banke and asked them for their documents so he could make their employee’s ID card. Mandal submitted his papers, which Vyas used to acquire another SIM card.
Sources said that when Vyas held meetings with bookies in Jaipur, he assures them he’d arrange SIMs for them. He also told them that he was in touch with several Pakistani bookies who would bet in the IPL-6. When Vyas was arrested, police seized 92 cell phones from his Lalwani Mansion apartment, the den from where bets were placed. Of these, he had used 30 phones for betting purposes.
Number of SIM cards that were seized from the bookies
Number of cellphones that were seized from bookie Ramesh Vyas’ residence
Number of pages in the chargesheet filed against the bookies
Number of paan shops that Jitendra Chaurasia owns