Cricket: Three more arrests in Indian betting investigation

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The Independent Online
Police in Calcutta have arrested three more suspects in a nationwide cricket betting ring, taking the total number of arrests to seven.

Surajit Kar Purakayastha, superintendent of police, said yesterday that the three arrested included Basanta Kumar Gujari, who allegedly ran betting operations in northern Calcutta.

Basanta was arrested just a day after police raided an apartment in the city and arrested Om Prakash Dhanuka, who is suspected of being one of India's biggest bookies. Three of his associates were also arrested.

Following the arrests on Sunday and Monday, betting at Dhanuka's operations throughout the country had stopped, police said.

Accusations that bookies have bribed cricket players to fix matches have surfaced in India in recent months. Betting on matches is rife, though illegal.

During interrogations Dhanuka told police he had been running the betting ring for five years and operated in the Indian capital, New Delhi, and other major cities including Bombay, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Other bookies told the police the betting racket ran into millions of rupees and during the recent Sahara Cup played between India and Pakistan in Canada, Dhanuka made more than pounds 100,000.

Police said they had the names of more than a thousand people involved in the betting racket.