With the Indian Premier League (IPL), the menace of online cricket betting has made a comeback in Greater Hyderabad. Rachakonda Police on Wednesday claimed to have busted an online cricket betting racket with the arrest of seven persons. The police have seized assets worth Rs 56 lakh.
Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat told reporters that on a tip-off, a Special Operation Team (SOT) raided Satya Nagar Colony and arrested seven accused and seized Rs 11.80 lakh in cash. Police also found more than Rs 31 lakh in two bank accounts.
The raid was conducted when the accused were accepting bookings for betting during the match between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
A case was registered against the accused under sections 3 and 4 of the TS Gaming Act.
The main organizers or bookies were identified as Tanniru Nagaraju, line operator Gundu Kishore, sub-bookies Tanniru Ashok and Chemmati Vinod, painters Kotla Dinesh Bhargava, Medishetty Kishor and Bojana Raju. Two other accused are absconding. The main accused are all residents of neighboring Andhra Pradesh.
Nagaraju was earlier arrested by Vanasthalipuram in a similar case in 2016. He was operating a betting racket along with his friend Kirhore and two distant relatives Ashok and Vinod.
The bookies arranged telephone lines and gave numbers to the punters. Betting starts after the first ball of the match and continues till the last ball. It fluctuates depending on the status of the match. Punters call the bookies and place bets during the match. The bookies were collecting money through their collection agents from the punters by way of cash or online payment.
The police commissioner appealed to the youth to stay away from betting. He said that by registering the cases, their chances of getting passports and getting jobs will be lost. “It may be fun for a day but you will have to suffer for the rest of your life,” he said.