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November 1, 2000

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The CBI Report in Full -- Part 15

Statement of Shobhan Mehta

Starting as a small punter in 1985, he became a cricket bookie in 1987-88. He is in touch with bookies and punters of Bombay, Jaipur, Madras, Calcutta and Delhi. He has visited UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.

His younger brother Anish also assists him in book making and both of them are always available on telephone during a cricket match. According to him, in 1992, he was threatened by the Amar Naik gang and some time thereafter by Chotta Rajan and then by Chotta Shakeel in 1999.

In view of this, he had been provided security by Mumbai Police which has however been withdrawn recently. On being asked about his involvement with players, if any, he stated that he was purely into book making and had no links with players, past or present. He categorically denied that he attended Sacin Tendulkar's wedding and also stated that he did not know Sachin Tendulkar nor his wife's family. He provided a list of bookies and punters known to him.

Statement of Daleep Seth alias Satyam Baba Daleep Seth alias Satyam Baba of Mumbai

was examined to get an idea of the communication network being used by the betting syndicate. He stated that he had been running a PCO/STD booth with permission from MTNL since 1990 at 142-E, Shop No. 3, Lal Baba Mandir, Buleshwar Road, Mumbai. Initially he had a single line and thereafter continued to add one STD/PCO line every three months.

He has Group EPABX facility of 200 lines and is allotted a series of telephone numbers - 3777500 to 3777599 and 3777700 to 3777799. He has installed a Mini Exchange also in which he is using112 lines presently. Out of these 112 lines, 102 lines are being used as outgoing lines which are given to various subscribers and remaining 10 lines are used as incoming lines.

He stated that the above said facility has been provided by MTNL. His Group EPABX facility is fully computerised and the subscribers pay the bills as per computer records and in turn he pays the MTNL. MTNL pays him a commission for such an arrangement.

On being asked, he stated that a number of bookies/punters from all over India and even abroad use his facility and in the bookie parlance this facility is called 'Dibba System'. Dibba system is a facility through which the telephone calls of bookies/punters from outside Bombay are connected to his STD/PCO booth and the lines are kept energised throughout the match and the prevailing 'odds' at Bombay are constantly transmitted.

Those outside bookies who are connected to Satyam's Mumbai exchange also keep their telephone speakers on broadcasting rates to all the local bookies/punters who keep their local P&T lines energized, and connected with this local 'Dibba'. This way local bookies and punters cut down on STD telephone costs as they do not have to directly get in touch with Mumbai to obtain 'odds'.

If a particular bookie/punter from outside Bombay wants some information confidentially from a Bombay bookie, he can also dial a separate number at Satyam's exchange.

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