Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Need to establish Victor’s link with Gurunath, Vindu: Cops

Chennai: Tamil Nadu CBCID, probing the IPL betting case, got a step closer to BCCI chief N Srinivasan’s son-inlaw, Gurunath Meiyappan, by arresting his hotelier friend, Vikram Agrawal. But Victor, as he is known in betting circles, is turning out to be a tough nut to crack.

    The first day of Agrawal’s interrogation on Monday didn’t yield much, and the officers would now try for his custody for 10 days when he is produced before a magistrate on Tuesday morning, an officer told TOI. “He is tough and tactical,” said the officer. “He seems to have used all this time to train himself to face the interrogation. We will need at least a week to crack him.”

The source said Meiyappan is their “next logical stop,” and probes into joint operations of the Gurunath-Vindu-Agrawal triangle could take the investigation to newer directions and bigger fish.

They wouldn’t seek Meiyappan’s interrogation till they extract more evidence from Agrawal linking Meiyappan and Vindu. So far, the investigators have collected evidence to show that Agrawal had made more than 80 calls to Meiyappan during IPL 6. They have also got electronic evidence of interactions between Agrawal and actor Vindu Dara Singh.

The sleuths’ strategy is to confront Agrawal with this evidence and, if he remains unyielding, book him also for financial fraud and tax evasion with the assistance of income tax department. This, they plan to do by cornering Agrawal on why he allotted a room in his hotel for bookie Uttamlal Jain alias Kitty to operate during IPL matches. “While employees’ statements and electronic entry records suggest Kitty used the room, there is no entry of such a guest in the records. This means he was allowed to stay there free. And that’s a strong additional case,” an officer said. The investigators believe Agrawal’s involvement was much deeper. He facilitated betting during IPL matches. He was in constant touch with Meiyappan, who introduced Vindu to the hotelier.

TN police arrest Chennai-based hotelier after three summons Chennai:After delaying the inevitable for over 10 days, Chennai hotelier Vikram Agrawal walked into the CB-CID office in Chennai on Monday to be arrested in the IPL betting case. Agrawal, known as Victor in betting circles, responded to the third summons from the CB-CID and presented himself before the investigation officers at 10.05am. More than nine hours of questioning later, he was declared arrested at 7.15pm. Having been booked for gambling, cheating and criminal conspiracy, Agrawal will now be questioned on his links with CSK principal Gurunath Meiyappan and actor Vindu Dara Singh who were arrested by the Mumbai crime branch police. “Agrawal had given a room in his hotel (room no. 724) for bookies to operate a betting syndicate. He knew about the playing conditions before IPL matches and had details of some players,” said deputy superintendent of police S Venkatraman. — A Selvara
Arun Ram & A Selvaraj TNN

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