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Indian Betting King Dinesh Kalgi Made 3,500 Calls To Pakistan

Ahmedabad: The needle of suspicion in the Pakistani cricket matchfixing incident in London has begun pointing to betting king Dinesh Kalgi, who is presently out on bail, says a Mirror report. Following the biggest match-fixing
PTI September 01, 2010 17:53 IST
PTI
Ahmedabad: The needle of suspicion in the Pakistani cricket matchfixing incident in London has begun pointing to betting king Dinesh Kalgi, who is presently out on bail, says a Mirror report.

Following the biggest match-fixing scandal by Pakistani cricketers coming to light in England and the bookie Majeed Mazhar, involved in rigging the matches, had said, during the sting op: “I deal with an Indian party. They pay me for the information”, the focus has now shifted to India.

 Sources say following the arrest of a notorious city bookie, Dinesh Kalgi, in September last year, his suspected links with agents in Mumbai, Pakistan and Dubai were revealed. With the cricket betting racket again coming to the fore, the needle of suspicion points to betting king Kalgi, who is out on bail. Kalgi had made more than 3,000 calls to Pakistan to his betting agents, the sources said.

Dinesh Thakkar alias Dinesh Kalgi, who in a short time became one of Gujarat's biggest bookies, has 36 agents spread over Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore and other places, including four in Pakistan. As per Crime Branch sources, his Pakistani agents are called Master, Guddu, Bablu and Nayyar Saheb.

Kalgi's agents Harish Gajjar, Chetan Upadhyay and Raju Rana were arrested in a raid by the Crime Branch on August 9, 2009, at B 310, Shanti Tower in Satellite. Abhay Chudasama was the then DCP of Crime Branch.

Kalgi had managed to escape and obtained anticipatory bail from sessions court on September 14. He later presented himself before the Crime Branch on September 20.

Crime Branch PI P G Vaghela had asked for 10-day remand of Kalgi. In the remand application, Vaghela had mentioned that the accused had been involved in betting for the past six years and in the past three months called up four of his bookies in Pakistan around 3,500 times.

Surprisingly, when the Crime Branch had filed the chargesheet in the metropolitan court on April 17, 2010, the mention of the number of calls to Pakistan by Kalgi was just in passing reference.

Even though it is common knowledge that Kalgi is a notorious bookie, no action has been taken against him till now. And he moves around scot-free.

Dinesh Kalgi, along with Mahendra Kalgi and Maulik Patel, are the main accused in running the gambling den at Nathiba farmhouse, near Bhagwat Vidyapeeth. The farmhouse was raided on kAugust 28 and 70 persons were arrested. While Patel was among those arrested, both Kalgis evaded arrest.