Sources from the Mumbai Crime Branch have revealed that Chennai Super Kings CEO Gurunath Meiyappan and small-time actor Vindu Dara Singh both admitted to being hand in glove in a betting racket during IPL VI - in fact, Vindu had asked Meiyappan to use his clout and induct a prominent Mumbai Indians player into the ring, so he could bring more athletes into the nexus.
Both Meiyappan and Vindu admitted to betting when they were brought face to face during interrogations. Meiyappan revealed that his attempts at making the quick buck culminated in losses of Rs 1 crore, after small profits in his early betting experiences encouraged him.
“Our main aim is to find out if any players were part of their betting circle, and to take our investigations from betting towards fixing,” said a police officer from the investigation team. Meiyappan would route his investments through Vindu, who
operated as a bookie using the name Jack. “Vindu had the clear aim of getting closer to players through Meiyappan who had access to them, and then use them in the fixing racket. We are trying to figure out if any player was actually in touch with them and if they indulged in fixing,” said the officer. Vindu was aware that the Mumbai Indians player that he wanted to induct into the ring wouldn’t be able to turn down a request from Meiyappan.
The police said Meiyappan, who was acquainted with Vindu since IPL-V, won his bets in the first five matches of IPL-VI, but later started losing money. But it was already too late. He started making heavy investments, and lost Rs one crore.
The police also raided Meiyappan’s residence in Chennai last morning. “Our four-member team visited his house and searched the premises. They have seized some phones used by Meiyappan, as well as some documents,” said the officer.
According to the police, Vindu has taken the names of several actors who he claims made investments through him. However, the list is extremely long, and the cops fear that making individual calls to each of those mentioned will lead them on a wild-goose chase.
Asad Rauf, the tainted Pakistani umpire who was allegedly in touch with both Meiyappan and Vindu, reportedly visited the latter’s home in Mumbai on May 14. He was scheduled to umpire the match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals the following day.
When bookie Ramesh Vyas was arrested a few days later, Singh alerted Rauf, who immediately left the country, departing from Delhi on May 20. The Mumbai Crime Branch is now trying to determine if Rauf had links with arrested cricketer Sreesanth, since the latter played for the Rajasthan Royals.