Detectives uncovered around £40,000 in cash in eight different denominations as well as four mobile telephones when they searched the London hotel room of Salman Butt, then captain of Pakistan, on the evening of the third day of the fourth Test against England last year.
Among the cash were 50 marked £50 notes given by a News of the World journalist to Mazher Majeed, Butt's agent, on the eve of the Lord's Test in return for allegedly arranging with Butt and his team-mates Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir to spot-fix – bowl deliberate no-balls at agreed moments.
As part of the prosecution's case, the jury at Butt (below right) and Asif's trial were yesterday shown dramatic footage filmed by a hidden camera of the moment Majeed took delivery of £140,000 in £50 notes, all of which had had their serial numbers recorded, in another hotel room in a different part of London. Butt and Asif (above right) are charged with conspiracy to obtain and accept corrupt payments and conspiracy to cheat, which carry maximum sentences of seven and two years' imprisonment respectively. Both deny the charges.
In Butt's room, room 714 of the Marriott Hotel near Regent's Park, they discovered a large amount of cash inside an attaché case locked inside a suitcase that Butt said belonged to his wife. The police found £14,003 – among which were the marked notes – $12,617 and a further £15,999 in various denominations.
In Asif's room there was £8,000 in cash in eight envelopes split between two rucksacks and in Amir's room more than £9,000 in cash in a safe, including 30 of the News of the World £50 notes. All three players claimed the cash can in part be explained by the £114 daily allowance they receive while on tour to England. Butt told police much of the rest of the money was for his sisters to buy clothes for their weddings.
In a meeting at Majeed's house in Croydon before the Oval Test, on 21 August, the agent suggested to News of the World journalist Mazher Mahmood that he was "grooming" players to carry out his wishes. As well as Butt, Asif and Amir, he mentioned Kamran and Umar Akmal, Wahab Riaz and, to a lesser extent, Imran Farhat, as "his boys."
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