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Delhi police tracked Sreesanth and Co for 20 days

May 16, 2013 10:47 IST

'We are yet to find out the number of matches in which there has been spot-fixing,' Delhi police sources tell's Vicky Nanjappa.

'We are confident that the betting syndicate which orchestrated this was from Mumbai.'

It took twenty days of steady investigation by the Delhi police's Special Branch to bust the spot-fixing racket in the Indian Premier League.

Sources told that there is prima facie evidence that the three Rajasthan Royals players -- India fast bowler S Sreesanth, leg-spinner Ajit Chandila and left-arm spinner Ankeet Chavan -- who have been arrested were involved in the crime.

The players's cell phone records are a crucial piece of evidence for the Delhi police who allege that most of the spot-fixing was done on the phone.

"We are yet to find out the number of matches in which there has been spot-fixing," the police sources said. "We are confident that the betting syndicate which orchestrated this was from Mumbai."

"We suspect that over 15 bookies are involved in this case," Delhi police sources add.

"While seven bookies have been arrested so far, we are on the look-out for more of them who are from neighbouring states. It has nation-wide ramifications and the investigation could well lead to more names," the police sources point out.

The first time that the Intelligence Bureau's crime wing issued an alert about spot- fixing in the IPL was after the Chinnaswamy stadium blasts.

The alert was shared with then Karnataka home minister Dr V S Acharya who confirmed that spot-fixing had indeed occurred.

Although the Bengaluru police did not probe the spot-fixing angle in the blasts case, a lot of data that was gathered then suggested massive betting occurred during the IPL.

Most of the spot-fixing takes place in Mumbai as the biggest betting syndicates operate in the city.

Bookies are in touch with players who they believe are vulnerable and seek information or performance for sums of money.

Delhi police sources say in this particular case specific information about the Rajasthan Royals team -- which has had an amazing run in IPL 6 -- was obtained.

The Delhi police sources allege that there is information which suggests the players 'facilitated' the bookies during the games that they played in.

"We have been on their trail for almost a month now and the details do suggest a prima facie case," Delhi police sources told this correspondent.

The Delhi police sources say they are seeking the cooperation of the Rajasthan Royals and its owners -- which include actress Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra -- the team that these players play for.

The bookies who have been arrested are being questioned about other players involved in this betting racket.

"We believe that more players are involved," the Delhi police sources said. "We focused on these players since the inputs and alerts were specific to them."

Vicky Nanjappa