Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hotelier ‘Victor’ may give betting proof against Guru

Chennai: Tamil Nadu’s director general of police (crime branch-CID) Narinder Pal Singh went on record on Friday to confirm to TOI that more than 80 calls were made from Chennai hotelier Vikram Agrawal alias Victor’s phones to Gurunath Meiyappan’s since the beginning of IPL-6 early April.

Agrawal, who’d been summoned by TN CB-CID, surfaced at the Mumbai crime branch instead on Friday morning, raising questions as to why he had chosen to seek out one while avoiding the other. The answer, it would appear, lies in the fact that he is a prime accused in TN for his links with Chennai betting kingpin Uttamlal Jain alias Kitty; in Mumbai, on the other hand, he can offer himself up as prosecution witness in the case against Meiyappan and Vindu Dara Singh, who are in the custody of Mumbai crime branch (there are no charges against either of them in TN). “He gets off lightly in return for giving evidence against Meiyappan and Vindu,” said an insider.

Chennai hotelier link between Vindu, bookies
Chennai: Tamil Nadu police have revealed that hotelier Vikram Agrawal and arrested actor Vindu Dara Singh allegedly formed the link between CSK owner Gurunath Meiyappan and the bookies. Confessions linking Srinivasan’s son-inlaw and Chennai Super Kings principal with the duo and, in turn, with those who placed bets would make for a strong case for Mumbai police.

A highly placed source investigating the scandal told TOI that the Mumbai police had made Agrawal an offer he could not refuse. “It is the prerogative of the investigating agency to name someone as an accused or a witness. By making Agrawal a witness, he escapes prosecution and the consequences of the case. The agency stands to gain by getting a wealth of evidence without much effort,” the source said.

DGP Singh said, “Agrawal made frequent calls to at least eight numbers, one of which is in the name of AVM (Meiyappan’s company),” Singh said. He said the police were investigating if any of the other numbers were used by Vindu. The police believe Vindu introduced Agrawal to Meiyappan. The investigators are now analysing the timing and duration of the calls.

Agrawal, it turns out, had made arrangements for free at his five-star hotel at Egmore for Kitty. “Kitty used a room in the hotel as his virtual office,” said an investigator. “There was a big screen television, a computer and several mobile phones. There is nothing in the hotel records so far that show Kitty paid the room rent. This means he was Agrawal’s guest.”
Arun Ram TNN

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