NEW DELHI: Three suspected bookies were today arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) from Mumbai and Delhi in connection with its money laundering probe in the alleged betting instances in Indian Premier League (IPL) matches.
Officials said the arrests have been made by the Ahmedabad zonal office of the agency after multiple searches were conducted in various cities on Tuesday.
"Those arrested include Aman Kapur and Ashish Grover from Delhi and Paresh Bhatia from Mumbai. They are being sent to Ahmedabad on transit remand from the respective locations and have been booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA)," a source said.
Bhatia was produced before the special court for PMLA cases, which sent him to ED's custody for five days.
The Ahmedabad unit of the agency had conducted search operations at various premises of suspected bookies and their associates in Delhi, Mumbai, Nagpur and Bhopal yesterday to take forward its probe in this alleged IPL cricket betting racket it had unearthed in March.
In Mumbai, the officials had searched houses of Bhatia and another person identified as Muneer.
In the national capital, ED had raided the premises of A Gupta, Kapur and Grover, who according to the agency, is the partner of famous bookie 'Shyam Delhi'.
"They were arrested after it was felt that they are required to be put through sustained interrogation," the source said.
According to sources, these people were allegedly working with a man named Ritesh Bansal who has been earlier arrested by the same ED unit from Delhi in May.
These suspects are also alleged to be operating bets through a foreign website, they said.
The money laundering case dates back to March, when the Ahmedabad unit of the agency had claimed to have busted an alleged betting racket and arrested two persons - Kiran Mala and Tommy Patel - from a farm house on the outskirts of Vadodara.
ED had claimed Mala and Patel were in touch with some big bookies in the country as well as of Pakistan and Dubai.
Later in May, ED arrested Ritesh Bansal aka 'Bharat Delhi', his brother Ankush Bansal, and Mukesh Sharma from Delhi and later sent them to Ahmedabad.
In June, the agency had filed a charge sheet in the Rs. 2,500 crore cricket betting racket in a special PMLA court.
During yesterdays' searches in Nagpur, ED officials also conducted the raid operations at the premises of a person identified as Sanjay Agarwal, known as 'Chhotu Nagpur'.
In Bhopal, ED sleuths searched some premises of Muneer.
The case is being specially monitored by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money as it has ramification vis-a-vis illegal funds stashed abroad by the suspects.
Advocate Rajesh Kanani, who appeared for ED, submitted that the central agency had recovered a master ID from Bhatia through which he operated the betting site 'Betfair.com'.
He claimed that Bhatia had close links with the prime accused Tommy Patel, and the investigators needed to interrogate Bhatia.
The ED found a laptop and other articles along with Rs. 1.30 crore cash from Bhatia's premises which established that he was involved in the racket, Kanani said.
Bhatia, arguing in person, however, told the court that he had no links with Patel and he was never involved in betting.