The dark clouds of betting have once again covered the prestigious Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches as Bollywood actor and film producer Arbaaz Khan has admitted that he used to place bets on the matches, said police in India.
Arbaaz Khan was summoned by police officials of the Thane anti-extortion cell in Mumbai involved in the investigations to record his statement. He was brought face-to-face with the arrested alleged bookie Sonu Jalan.
The actor admitted that he has been placing bets for the last six years. He allegedly lost INR28 million to the bookie Sonu Jalan in bets on IPL matches and had not paid the amount, following which the bookie had threatened the actor.
Notably, the Anti-Extortion Cell of Thane Police busted the racket on May 15 and arrested four people in Mumbai, including Sonu Jalan alias Sonu Malad, who is believed to be one of the top bookies of the country, officials have said.
Pradeep Sharma, Senior Inspector and head of the Anti-Extortion Cell, said that during the course of the investigation, it was found that there was a ‘connection’ between Jalan and Arbaaz Khan. The two are said to have known each other for over five years.
Jalan, the alleged kingpin of IPL betting racket, in his police statement also mentioned several prominent names who bet huge amounts on IPL teams and players.
“Actor Arbaaz Khan placed bets during one of the past IPL seasons through Jalan. In those days, Jalan was working with a big bookie who went by the name Junior Calcutta. Subsequently, too there was a huge transaction between Jalan and Khan. Apparently, Khan was blackmailed into paying crores, the threat being that his gambling habit would be exposed. But all this will be probed once Khan gives his side of the story,” said a senior officer associated with the probe.
Another film actor, Vindu Dara Singh, was arrested in 2013 by the Mumbai police for cricket betting, specifically spot fixing. He was later released on bail.
The cash-rich IPL has been shadowed by gambling controversies since it started in 2008.