Techie held for tailoring software for bookies

The engineer was making customised computer programmes for punters, with which they could document and keep track of their bets

A recent raid conducted by cops has revealed that punters in the city are using sophisticated software to keep their shady activities under wraps, even roping in techies to develop customised software for them. Officials of the Social Service (SS) branch of the Mumbai police have arrested Atul Pankaj Shah, a 42-year-old software engineer for creating and supplying bookies in the city with special computer programmes, which they used to maintain records of their illegal transactions.

Busted: The software engineer, Atul Pankaj Shah, would operate from
Raghuleela Mall in Kandivli

On October 2, police raided the Prerna Cooperative Housing Society in Andheri, from which they recovered 123 mobile phones, four LCD TV sets and nine laptops.

They also arrested eight bookies in the act of conducting transactions -- identified as Darshan Gohil, Amit Popat, Mohammed Bashir Fakir, Paresh Rathod, Bhimsingh Bokati, Shiv Waman Subaiya, Yogesh Khairnar and Dhirendra Tripathi. However, seven punters, including the notorious Suresh Nagri alias Junior Kolkata, managed to flee from the spot.

In course of interrogating the eight arrested bookies, cops were told that Shah, a software engineer who was previously employed with a leading IT firm, had been aiding and abetting the racket by plying the punters with specially developed software, which they could use to maintain secret records of their covert dealings. They busted Shah's office at Raghuleela Mall in Kandivli on Saturday, and arrested him. Shah is the ninth person to be arrested in connection with betting rackets for the ongoing Champions League T20 tournament.

"A match was being played between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Pune Warriors on October 2. Bets worth Rs 10 crore had been placed by the bookies, and they suffered heavy losses owing to the raid. Krishnakumar Agarwal, an associate of Nagri, even committed suicide in Kolkata after the raid," said an official of the SS branch.

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