In a major breakthrough, the Vijayawada city police busted a cricket betting racket and arrested an eight-member gang of bookies on Wednesday evening.
The city police seized four communication boxes and five laptops, along with 36 mobile phones, which were being used to carry out the racket. Cash worth Rs 36,000 was also seized.
Commissioner of Police Gautam Sawang, who addressed a media conference along with DCP Kanthi Rana Tata, said that the gang was organising betting on recent league matches which were held in Australia.
On a tip-off, a special team arrested the main bookies, identified as D Srinivasa Raju alias Chakravarti from Sathyanarayanapuram along with Chinababu alias Chinna, and Vadlamanu Dharmendra from Hyderabad.
Other main bookies and sub bookies were arrested from Hyderabad and Andhra's Gudivada and Mangalagiri area.
"This is a well-organised racket which is being held in other cities of the state as well," the Commissioner said.
The police stated that the betting mania was also prevalent in the districts of Nellore and Kadapa. Other bookies who had been identified and were on the run, would be arrested soon, the police assured.
The police said that the bookies were speaking to the punters, using the communication boxes for uninterrupted connectivity. Through these boxes, they took the bets.
All cash transactions after gambling, would be done by ‚Äėhawala‚Äô, the police said, adding that the accused confessed that the turnover of each match, was around Rs 14 lakh.
The police also said that the latest bust, was a continuation to the raids that had taken place in the city in the second week of December.
All the accused were booked under the AP Gambling Act, 1974.
The police managed to trace the accused in the case, after their attention was drawn to the suicide case of one 20-year-old Gurram Teju, an engineering student from Vijayawada, who drowned himself to death.
The student reportedly committed suicide due to pressure from bookies and being involved in betting. As many as two students had committed suicide due to huge losses and harassment of bookies in Vijayawada city and Krishna district, the police said.
Following this, Trasula Vijaya Kumar and Mayor Prasanna Kumar were arrested in the case. The investigation team apparently captured the bookies, via information procured from the arrested duo.
‚ÄúAny act that damages the fabric of the capital region would attract severe actions, including PD Act,‚ÄĚ Sawang warned.