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Salem's links with a cricketer and an actress exposed
Sumir Kaul in New Delhi | November 20, 2005 19:36 IST
The interrogation of gangster Abu Salem, one of the main accused in 1993 Mumbai blasts, by Central Bureau of Investigation has brought into focus the alleged links between a former Indian cricketer and the underworld, according to highly-placed sources in the CBI.
The sources said Salem had confirmed that he knew the Indian cricketer. Though he intitially denied talking to the cricketer about match-fixing, he confessed when confronted with a taped conversation with the player.
This case may throw further light on links of the underworld with cricketers, especially after the thorough probe carried out by CBI in 1999. The agency had been directed to do so by the then-government and had submitted a report.
The CBI and other security agencies were already probing the same Indian cricketer for funding expenses of the underworld don in Portugal. Informed sources said the underworld don had parked his money with a cricketer and a Bollywood actress who, in turn, used to send the money to him for his expenses in the European country.
Salem, who was brought to India on Wednesday after three years of legal battle, is expected to throw more light on the cricketer-bookie-underworld nexus during the remand period, which ends on November 23.
CBI sources said the bank transactions of Salem were monitored closely and names of the former cricketer and the actress, who had been allegedly laundering money for Salem and taking care of his expenses in Portugal, came to light.
Security agencies, seeking to unravel the funding mystery, traced some of the financial transactions to the former Indian cricketer and the actress, said the sources. The help of some more foreign countries could be sought to trace the money trail completely, they added.
A visibily cool person during questioning, Salem has been 'co-operating' with CBI during his nine days of remand but has not given any information about global terrorist and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, CBI sources said.
Salem has been claiming that he had met Dawood only once in his life but CBI sources said this was a diversionary tactic being adopted by the extradited gangster to avoid being grilled on Dawood or his operations. About his role in 1993 Mumbai blasts, Salem is understood to have agreed that he had delivered some arms and ammunition.