Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of BCCI president N. Srinivasan, not only placed heavy bets on T20 matches in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but also passed on vital information about Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to bookies through the arrested Bollywood actor, Vindoo Dara Singh, according to the police here.
According to the investigating officer, except for a few people in the team management, nobody got information about injuries to a player, selection or rejection of a player, final team for the match and team strategy for a particular match. “Whether the information given by him was used for fixing is what we will also be investigating in future,” said the officer.
The remand copy submitted by the Mumbai police for custody of Mr. Meiyappan clearly mentions that he being the principal of CSK, the police want to investigate whether he provided information about team strategy to bookies.
Investigations have revealed that he lost money which he placed on teams other than his own, but did earn money when he put bets on his own team. “His loss could be of one crore or more. But according to information we have, he placed bets worth Rs. 5, 10 or 20 lakh on each match,” said the officer adding, “We are not limiting our probe to betting. Information about any team is extremely important for any bookie, which can be given only by an insider.”
According to Mr. Meiyappan’s confession to the Mumbai police, he had placed large bets on different teams in the last two IPL ever since he became friends with Singh two years ago. “He placed bets through Vindoo and others,” said the officer.
According to the police, mediators like Singh are used as a person like Meiyappan cannot afford to be in touch with bookies. “There is yet no proof of his being in contact with any other bookies, except for Singh. However, he [Meiyappan] now feels that Singh was using him to gather information from him about the team and was sharing it with others,” the officer said.
Earlier, Mr. Meiyappan was sent to police custody till May 29 by a magistrate court. His lawyer, Abad Ponda, termed his arrest ‘illegal’ as he had responded positively to summons. The lawyer argued in the court that the police did not require his custody to collect his voice sample and mobile phones.
Prosecution lawyer Wajid Sheikh told the court that since it was established that Mr. Meiyappan was betting with large amounts, the police need to question him about other bookies.