Topmost bookie in India arrested by Thane police

A topmost bookie in the country who allegedly had several international connections and traded seamlessly, was on Tuesday arrested by the Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) of the city Crime Branch, police said here.

The alleged accused, Sonu Yogendra Jalan alias Sonu Malad, who is considered to be a big shot bookie in Mumbai’s ‘Satta Bazaar’ (betting world), had clients and punters in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

In India, the gang has its associates in Delhi, Kolkata, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana, police said.  He was earlier arrested several times by the Mumbai Police in
connection with betting on cricket matches.

On Monday, the police arrested the key member of an online cricket betting ring, Vrajesh Joshi (27), for providing customised software for the betting racket that was unearthed in Dombivli.  Joshi was reportedly instrumental in customising the betting online gamble and allegedly made it easier for the punters as well as the
bookies to bet on the cricket matches, said a police officer.

The police have already arrested four bookies who allegedly had a country-wide set-up on online betting in the recently concluded IPL  Season. During an IPL cricket match between Mumbai Indians and King’s XI Punjab on May 16 at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, the police on a tip off had raided a shop in Dombivli and arrested three bookies Gautam Savla (43), Nikhil Sampat (53) and Nitin Punjani (28). Later, oneKhushal Khimji Malad alias Rambhiyya (41) was arrested.

The police had seized two laptops, Rs 1.60 lakh in cash as well as three cellphones and a diary containing contacts of punters. Over the years, the betting mafia in cricket has switched over from traditional methods to customised software to enable swift transactions, sources added.

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