The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday launched searches in multiple cities, including Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur in connection with its hawala and money laundering probe against some betting syndicates related to the latest IPL T20 cricket matches.
Sources said about eight to ten premises in these cities and locations in Thane and Gurgaon were being covered during the searches which are being conducted by the Ahmedabad office of the agency in coordination with their local counterparts in these locations.
“The searches are aimed at investigating some top links active in betting in matches in the Indian Premier League cricket tournament. This is an extension of similar raids that were conducted by the agency on May 10,” the sources said.
They said the action has been mounted on suspects who acted as bookies during the recent IPL matches held in the country. The probe is being handled by the ED’s Ahmedabad office which is investigating the case for hawala and money laundering charges. A team of over 30 officials are part of search teams, the sources said.
The searches, earlier this month, were largely in the national capital and its adjoining areas and two Delhi-based alleged bookies were arrested. Over Rs. 26 lakh was seized then apart from a cache of computer peripherals, mobiles and hard drives, the sources said.
In March this year, the Ahmedabad office of the agency had claimed to have busted the alleged betting racket and arrested some bookies from a farmhouse on the outskirts of Vadodara city in Gujarat. Later, the probe agency arrested 13 others in connection with this illegal activity from Gujarat.
The same office registered a money laundering case against two prime suspects and a few others in connection with the alleged racket suspected to be between Rs. 1,000-4,000 crore. The accused had been earlier charged under Section 418 (cheating), Section 419 (punishment for cheating), Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), Section 467 (forgery of valuable security), Section 471 (using forged document as genuine) along with Section 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code by the agency.