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November 1, 2000

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The CBI Report in Full -- Part 5

Chapter III - Report on Player/Betting Syndicate Linkages

After collecting all relevant material/evidence, individual players, ex-players, officials, bookies, punters and others were examined and were confronted with the evidence at hand which the CBI had gathered. Thereafter their statements were recorded. It is however emphasized at the very outset that the cricketing fraternity, generally speaking, maintained a conspiracy of silence and were rarely forthcoming with any specific information relevant to the enquiry.

Not a single player/ex-player/official etc, other than those who had made vague and general allegations in the media, volunteered any information to the CBI. In spite of the resistance offered by the players, ignorance feigned by ex-players and officials connected with the game, the CBI was able to collect evidence through painstaking and meticulous efforts.

Confronted with the evidence gathered, some players/others, in spite of their stubborn denials, broke down and disclosed their involvement in malpractises in various degrees. Although a number of bookies, punters, present and past cricket players, board officials and others were examined, the statements of persons who are relevant to the enquiry at this point in time alone are summarized and evidence against individual players/others is discussed in detail.

(a) Statements:

Mukesh Kumar Gupta aka MK Gupta aka MK aka John MK Gupta aka MK aka John, a prominent bookie of Delhi, was initially employed with Syndicate Bank as a Clerk from 1982 til 1989 when he resigned. His father was a government employee in UP and after retirement took up employment with Ghantewala Mithai Shop in Chandni Chowk area.

His father is presently assisting him in running his jewellery show room by name AMS Jewellers at H-81, South Extension, Part-I, New Delhi. He stated that he got interested in cricket betting in the year 1984 after India had won the World Cup in 1983. One day he was walking on the street near his residence at Mohalla Dassan and saw some people betting for small amounts in a cricket match and this caught his attention.

He started betting with them on a small scale after banking hours. Since the people involved in this business were not well educated and did not have much knowledge of cricket, he started reading about cricket from bookies, magazines, newspapers etc. He updated his knowledge by listening to BBC and gathered a lot of information.

In this manner, he used to place intelligent bets and he made more money than other people involved in betting. Since he was very prompt in his payments, the bookies also started having trust in him and his volume of betting increased. He shifted his betting activity thereafter to bigger bookies operating at Chandni Chowk, Ghanta Ghar.

He was also betting at Karol Bagh and Patel Nagar with one Sikh gentleman whose name he was unable to recollect. Thereafter, he was introduced to one Anand Saxena who was a keen punter in cricket as well as tennis, football, hockey etc and this introduction was through a bank customer.

By the year 1986, he had made a good amount of money and he thought he should go to Bombay and start betting with the biggest bookies of that time, Mama and Kamate. Their reference was given to him by one R P Singh, who was a veteran in the betting field at Delhi.

Accordingly, in May 1986, he went to Bombay with the address and telephone numbers of Mama and Kamate and opened his account with them and came back to Delhi. Since he had to give business on a regular basis to Mama and Kamate, he became a bookie on a partnership basis with Anand Saxena in Delhi.

In 1988, he went to watch the Ram Charan Aggarwal Tournament being played at Delhi between different clubs. There he saw Ajay Sharma playing in a particular match in which he made a quick 50 or 100. After that match, he went to Ajay Sharma and paid him an amount of Rs 2000 as a token of his appreciation and also told him that if he had any problems in life, he could contact MK and also gave his telephone number.

He stated that he did this since he thought Ajay Sharma had talent and it was an investment with the hope that some day he could reap the benefits. After about 15 days, Ajay Sharma got in touch with him again and a relationship between them started. This was to prove beneficial to both.

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