Friday, July 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

IT raids on premises of cricketers
Bookies, officials too not spared
Tribune News Service and agencies

NEW DELHI, July 20 — In a significant development in the match-fixing case, the Income Tax sleuths today raided the premises of top Indian cricketers namely Kapil Dev, Mohammad Azharuddin, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manoj Prabhakar, former ICC president Jagmohan Dalmiya and 10 bookies across the country.

The raids in 85 places, including survey of about 20 places, across the country “resulted in the seizure of incriminating documents. Ten bank lockers have been identified and located,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes said.

The raids commenced early in the morning simultaneously across the country. These would continue for the next few days, sources in the Income Tax department said.

Confirming the searches, Director-General (Investigation) of Income Tax, Mr S.C. Parija, said the department was looking to ascertain whether top cricketers, administrators and bookies had assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

The department conducted raids in Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Patiala, Calcutta, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur and Hyderabad.

The three other players in whose premises search were conducted were Ajay Sharma, Ajay Jadeja and Nikhil Chopra.

Neither the premises nor the lockers of former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar were raided today, sources said.

Income Tax department, which was assisted by the Central Bureau of Investigation during the operation, raided the premises of about 10 bookies including Mukesh Gupta, whose name figured in the testimony of South African cricketer Hansie Cronje before the Kings Commission in Johannesburg.

Income Tax sources said “only three players, who are abroad, were not present in their premises/offices when the raids were conducted.”

Mr Dalmiya, the only cricket administrator whose premises were raided, was present when Income Tax officials arrived to conduct the operation.

Sources said only a few bookies were present in their premises during the raids. “Some of them may have gone underground,” they added.

Raids were conducted in the premises of Sangeeta Bijlani, the wife of former captain Mohammad Azharuddin.

The raids were conducted in Chandigarh (six places), Patiala (three places), Calcutta (20 places), Bangalore (eight places), Ahmedabad (three places), Hyderabad (three places), Mumbai (five places) Jaipur (two places) and in Delhi (37 places).

Reports from Jaipur said the Income Tax Department surveyed the establishment of Rajasthan Cricket Association Secretary and Indian Cricket Board Treasurer Raj Kishore Rungta. The Union Sports Minister, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, could not be contacted.

Mr Dhindsa had said senior cricketers have assets worth over Rs 200 crore and junior players have assets worth Rs 10 crore. Income Tax authorities had begun investigations into records and returns of leading cricketers and officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), whose name surfaced during the on-going match-fixing controversy.

HYDERABAD: Sleuths of Income Tax Department today raided the residence of cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin here.

A team of 10 to 15 IT officials swooped down on Azhar’s residence at the posh Jubilee Hills area here around 8.30 a.m. and the search was still on. Azhar is away in London, his younger brother Mohammed Abraruddin said.

A report from Calcutta said that a large number of IT officials carried out searches at Dalmiya’s residence in the posh Alipore area as well as his office premises at Shakespeare Sarani. Dalmiya, who is in Delhi in a five-star hotel, was not accessible to the press.

All entrances to Dalmiya’s two-storeyed office building were sealed.

The IT men checked a number of official files and carried out extensive searches inside the former ICC President’s personal chamber, sources in Dalmiya’s office said.

Mumbai: The Income Tax authorities searched the premises of two players and a bookie while the offices of a company which had telecast rights of cricket matches were surveyed here and Pune as part of countrywide operations.

Refusing to divulge any names, Director General of Income Tax (Investigations) P.K. Sarma said at a crowded press conference that “huge amount of fixed deposit receipts, bank deposits and investments in Indira Vikas Patra” were seized along with cash and jewellery during today’s searches.

“At least 12 premises, including 8 to 9 residential ones, of two cricketers, a bookie and family members and officials connected with the cricketers as well as the game were searched while a survey was carried out on 7 to 8 premises,” he said.


16 bank lockers sealed

BANGALORE, July 20 (PTI) — “Incriminating” documents were seized and 16 bank lockers of “suspected persons” sealed during a countrywide simultaneous raid conducted by income tax officials at 84 premises of leading cricketers, including Kapil Dev and Mohammed Azharuddin, sport administrators and some bookies today in the wake of match-fixing and telecast rights allotment scam.

Union Minister of State for Finance (Revenue), V. Dhananjaya Kumar, told a press conference here that “incriminating” documents were seized and 16 bank lockers located, identified and sealed.

Assisted by the CBI, the department conducted searches mainly in Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chandigarh, Mr Kumar said.

“About 16 bank lockers belonging to these suspected persons have been located and identified..... search is still going on..... it may continue till tomorrow,” he said.

Some of the close relatives and families of these people were also interrogated and their premises also searched, the minister said, adding, they included the wives and in-laws of Kapil Dev and Azharuddin.

The cricketers whose premises were searched included Kapil Dev, Azharuddin, Nayan Mongia, Ajay Jadeja and Nikhil Chopra, he said.

Mr Dhananjay Kumar said the raids conducted in New Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chandigarh were continuing and would be complete only tomorrow. Sixteen bank lockers, including six in Mumbai, belonging to those people were also seized.

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