M A I N   N E W S

Sree’s laptops seized; players grilled jointly
Shiv Kumar & Shaurya Karanbir Gurung
tribune news service

Mumbai/New Delhi, May 18
The probe into the IPL spot-match fixing scam was intensified on Saturday with the Mumbai police seizing mobile phones and laptops allegedly belonging to cricketer S Sreesanth and his bookie friend Jiju Janardhan while the three arrested players were jointly quizzed.

The Delhi Police is trying to unearth the money trail in the spot-fixing scam by examining the bank account details of Sreesanth and two other arrested cricketers, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila.

Mumbai Joint Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy said the police were scanning Sreesanth’s diaries which were recovered from the hotel room. While some of the entries in these diaries were in English, others appeared to be written in Malayalam, Roy added. Roy said the police have obtained permission from a local court to retrieve mirror images of the data on the devices seized. "We have reasons to believe that Sreesanth and Jiju checked into the hotel on May 13 independently, away from the hotel where the Rajasthan Royals had checked in. We are recreating their movements on May 13, 14 and May 15, the night when they were arrested by the Delhi Police", Roy said. While the RR team was staying at a hotel in South Mumbai, Sreesanth and Janardhanan checked into Hotel Sofitel at Bandra-Kurla Complex in suburban Mumbai. The police has also retrieved CCTV footage from the hotel to see who visited the duo during their stay there. Police sources said the names of some bookies, cricketers and call girls were also recovered from a laptop seized from one of the rooms belonging to Sreesanth and Janardhanan..

The cricketers whose names were found in the laptop are likely to be questioned soon. The police, however, refused to divulge the names saying they need to be questioned first.

One more bookie, Pravin Bera, was arrested from Mumbai on Saturday, taking the total number of bookies arrested from the city and other parts of the country to 12. In New Delhi, the three arrested players were again questioned but now in each others' presence, an official said. The suspects confessed their crime but blamed each other for dragging them into spot fixing, police sources said. The three were confronted with the nabbed bookies, audio recordings and other material evidence gathered by the investigators into the scam. The Delhi Police also conducted raids in several cities, including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Hyderabad, to track the money trail in connection with the racket.

Investigators said Sreesanth, Chavan and Chandila were paid in cash and in card by the arrested bookies. “We have very strong evidence on Sreesanth’s involvement in spot-fixing. The three players did it for money,” said top sources in the Delhi Police. The police has also asked the TV channel airing the matches for the raw footage of the three IPL-6 matches of the Rajasthan Royals, in which the arrested players allegedly committed spot-fixing. The raw footage would help the investigators in pinpointing the signals that the players had allegedly used to indicate to the bookies that they were ready to concede runs to the opposite team. The police said it was important to recover the money paid by the bookies.

The players were allegedly spending the money on gift items, mobile phones and parties. Investigators said Chandila allegedly purchased several expensive items using the money of Amit Singh, who acted as a conduit between the players and the bookies.

The Delhi Police also conducted a raid at Chandila’s residence in Faridabad. His parents and immediate relatives, however, were not at home. A six-member team, including a woman personnel, in civvies conducted the raid and stayed in the house for about 50 minutes. No one was allowed to enter the house during the period. (With inputs from Ravi S Singh in Faridabad)





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |