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November 1, 2000

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The CBI Report in Full -- Part 18

Manoj Prabhakar admitted that he was introduced to MK Gupta by Ajay Sharma sometime in 1990 and he knew him as John and not as Mukesh Gupta. He stated that he had met Mukesh Gupta 5-6 times only, but used to speak to him on the telephone. He further stated that he had seen Mukesh Gupta abroad also.

He confessed that he had received money and that he used to receive only around Rs.25,000/- to Rs. 30,000/- for each piece of information. He was paid only when his information was of use to MK. On being asked whether MK had given him money to buy a Maruti Gypsy with wide tyres after the England tour in 1990, he stated that he had purchased a Gypsy with wide tyres after the England tour but he himself had paid for it.

Manoj denied introducing Dean Jones to MK. He further stated that after a festival match in Sri Lanka in early 1990s, he was in the same fight as MK. But they had booked their tickets separately and this was purely accidental. He denied that MK had ever visited his house in Ghaziabad. Manoj admitted having made a phone call to Gus Logie at MK's request, but Logie had refused to do anything for MK.

He accepted that he introduced Mark Waugh to MK in Hong Kong during a six-a-side tournament. He also admitted introducing Brian Lara, Salim Malik and Alec Stewart to MK. He denied that he introduced Aravinda D' Silva and Ranatunga to MK. He stated that for these introductions, he had received money only once or twice. MK used to pay him only when his introduction to foreign players resulted in a profitable relationship.

He stated that MK used to pay him money through one of his servants. Prabhakar confessed that in the Ranji Trophy Quarter Final match of 1991 between Delhi and Bombay, he had given information to MK that Delhi would lose this match since some of the Delhi players were scheduled to play league cricket in England which was clashing with further Ranji Trophy engagements. However, he had denied receiving money from MK for this information.

He was very friendly with Tipu Kohli (a punter) and he used to call him up to get his opinion and information about cricket matches. Prabhakar also said that he knew one Mashaal, a bookie of Bombay.

Statement of Mohammad Azharuddin

Joining the State Bank of India as a clerk in 1983, Mohd Azharuddin got quick promotions because of his cricket.

He is at present a scale-IV officer, working as Chief Manager and PRO, State Bank of India, Hyderabad. Azharuddin admits his very close relationship with Ajay Sharma, and the intimacy developed since both of them used to be roommates whenever they played. On being confronted with telephone print-outs of Ajay Sharma which disclose contacts only just before or during cricket matches, he stated that Ajay Sharma had always been his well-wisher for may years and he also used to bring him bats during matches since it brought him good luck.

Azharuddin admitted on further questioning that he was first introduced to M.K. Gupta alias MK by Ajay Sharma sometime in 1995, at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi. Ajay Sharma and MK had been approaching him to underperform in some matches for a consideration. Mukesh Gupta had offered him a sum of Rs. 1.25 crore, but the deal did not materialise.

He accepted that he had taken money on some occasions from MK but did not underperform in most of the matches in which he had taken money. He stated that the Titan Cup match between India and South Africa at Rajkot in 1996 was fixed through Mukesh Gupta, and revealed that Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia were also involved along with him.

A match in the Pepsi Asia Cup in Sri Lanka in 1997 was also fixed through MK. He accepted that he had introduced Mukesh Kumar Gupta to Hansie Cronje at Kanpur in 1996. On being asked about Ajay Gupta and Ameesh Gupta, whose cell phone numbers figured frequently in his telephone print-out, he stated that he had met Ajay Gupta and his associates sometime in 1998 through Ajay Sharma.

He had a letter of intent for a petrol pump issued by the Ministry of Petroleum in 1996 which was under litigation, and wanted to seek Ajay Gupta's help.

On being asked whether Ameesh Gupta S/o Gyan Chand Gupta paid for his shopping at Harrods' in London in 1999 during the World Cup, he stated that he had made some purchases and Ameesh Gupta had paid for the same. On further questioning, he accepted that Ajay Gupta and his associates had approached him sometimes to fix matches.

He does not remember how much money he had received from them. The Pepsi Cup match between India and Pakistan at Jaipur in 1999 was fixed through them and Jadeja and Nayan Mongia were also involved with him in the deal. He was paid around Rs.10 lakhs after that match by some unknown person on behalf on Guptas.

Azhar admitted that Ameesh Gupta had given him mobile phone 98-111- 50860 through which he used to contact him during matches. On being asked whether he had met Dawood Ibrahim, he stated that he had seen him a few times in Sharjah where Dawood Ibrahim used to be present during cricket matches.

He denied having any telephonic conversation with him. On being asked whether he had spoken to Abu Salem, he stated that Abu Salem had rung him up on a couple of occasions and requested him to fix some matches but he had refused.

On being asked about Hamid 'Banjo' Cassim of South Africa, Azhar accepted that he had met him whenever he visited South Africa.

On being asked about Pappu Bhutani, he stated that he knew him but he had not purchased any expensive watch from him. Azhar also stated that he presented a Rolex watch costing around Rs.75, 000/- to Ajit Wadekar as a token of appreciation since Ajit Wadekar always used to guide him when he was the coach of the Indian team.

On being asked about the alleged offer made by Kapil Dev to Manoj Prabakar in the Singer Cup, 1994, he stated that Manoj Prabhakar never informed him about this alleged offer and he came to know of this only through newspapers recently.

About the India-West Indies one-day match at Kanpur in 1994 where Manoj Prabhakar and Nayan Mongia had batted slowly, he stated that there were no instructions from the dressing room that they should bat slowly and he could not comprehend the reasons behind such tactics.

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