Hyderabad: The areas under Shahinayathgunj and Mangalhat police stations have turned into a hub of cricket betting with more cases reported in the area. The cops attribute it to the ongoing crackdown on other illegal trades in the area.
The city police has so far nabbed ten gangs of organisers in the two police station limits ever since the Indian Premier League began this season. The organisers collect betting amounts from the punters through agents and pay them back the same way if they win. Betting worth crores of rupees is being organised in the area, forcing the police to concentrate on the hub in last one month.
According to police sources, there are three big organisers in the area and about a dozen odd bookies in the Shahinayathgunj area which includes Begum Bazaar, Shahinayathgunj and parts of Goshamahal. The number is a bit higher in the Mangalhat police station area which comprises the areas of Jummerath Bazaar, Dhoolpet, Mangalhat and Raheempura. “We are focusing on curbing the cricket betting activity in these two police station limits.
The local police is gathering information and nabbing the organizers,” said DCP (West) A.R. Srinivas. He added that the police are also probing the links of the organisers with hawala operators as such channels are generally used to send unaccounted money.
Inspector, Task Force (West), Gattu Mallu, said “All the operations are based on information gathered by our men. Compared to other areas in West Zone, there is big cricket betting activity in these two police station limits. So far, we have caught seven gangs who were running the betting rackets here”.
Betting apps minimise investment for bookies
Smartphones to a great extent have replaced the multi-level communicator equipment used for facilitating cricket betting. The city police in several recent raids have seized smartphones from the organisers who are switching over to “online betting apps” like Cricket Mazaa and ‘Cricket Exchange’.
“The risk of getting caught is less and investment too is low. Moreover, it is convenient for the organisers to set up a base anywhere and start their task” said a police official. Though online betting is banned in the state, the bookies are still indulging in the activity.
Earlier, the multi-level communicators imported from China and sold in the retail markets of Mumbai were used. “CDMA SIM cards were used in the equipment but later they were phased out by the telecom companies” said a police official.