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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Ex-cricketer Martin held in human trafficking case

Ex-cricketer Martin held in human trafficking case

Last updated on: April 27, 2011 09:25 IST

Former India cricketer Jacob Martin, who was evading arrest in a human trafficking case for the past seven years, has finally landed in the police net in Delhi.

Martin (39), who played ten ODIs for India between 1999 and 2000, was apprehended from the Babarpur area of Shahadra on Tuesday night, R A Sanjeev, Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI Airport), said.

He was wanted in connection with a human trafficking case, for allegedly taking non-cricketers to Britain on the pretext of playing club cricket there in 2003 after taking money from them.

The Delhi police had announced a reward of Rs 25,000 to anyone providing information about Martin, the Ranji team captain of Baroda, after his anticipatory bail was rejected by the Supreme Court saying no relief can be granted to him as he is running away from the law and asked him to surrender.

The case came to light after one Nimesh Kumar was found travelling on a fake passport. On questioning, Kumar had disclosed that an agent Rajender Bhiku Bhai Patel arranged his journey with the help of Martin and Janak Lal Bhogi Raj Pancholi for Rs 700,000.

"Martin prepared a bogus cricket team 'Ajwa Sports Club' Vadodara, Gujarat, and identified himself as a member (player) of the team," Sanjeev said. During investigation, police had repeatedly asked Martin to join the probe but he did not.

An agent Rajender Bhai Patel told the police that he had received only Rs 25,000 as a commission from the client while Rs 6.75 lakh was given to Martin, who arranged the whole trip of Kumar.

Another agent Raj Pancholi, who was in the UK, had allegedly helped Martin.

"Repeated raids were conducted at the residence of Martin in Vadodara and efforts were made to nab him, but every time he managed to avoid arrest.

Revenue records and property owned by Martin were also examined to know details of his income in 2004," Sanjeev said.

Last week, a Delhi Police team had visited Vadodara to arrest him but could not locate him there. The team even approached the Baroda Cricket Association seeking information about a club which he claimed to have been running.

The high court had on April 8 refused to grant him any relief, saying the allegation against him is serious and he has done "disservice" to the game which is close to the hearts of millions.

Martin, who hails from Vadodara, made his first-class debut for Baroda in the 1991-92 season in Ranji Trophy. He made his ODI debut against West Indies in September 1999.

He also played in the triangular ODI series in Australia against that country and Pakistan in January 2000 but was unable to maintain his form and did not play again for India after that.

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