Bhatia allegedly talked to 100 bookies simultaneously from this cupboard (photo: Indian Express)
The Crime Branch of Delhi Police claim to have busted a betting syndicate allegedly involved in taking bets during matches in the ongoing cricket World Cup. According to Indian Express, police said they recovered 110 mobile phones and laptops when they arrested 57-year-old Shanti Swaroop Bhatia, who allegedly provided ball-to-ball betting rates to bookies.
“We received information about Bhatia providing live betting rates on phone to several bookies during the India-Bangladesh quarterfinal match from his house in Paschim Vihar. After verifying the information, a raid was conducted to nab him,” the police said.
Bhatia had reportedly set up an elaborate telecom network in his cupboard, through which he could converse with over 100 people simultaneously.
“He had set up mobile phones in such a way that his voice was audible on all phones at the same time. He was caught announcing betting rates after receiving them from a main line provider source. He was receiving the rates on his mobile phone connected with a headphone,” JCP (Crime) Ravinder Yadav said.
During questioning, Bhatia allegedly told police that he received updated rates on each ball of the match from the main line provider and these were communicated to all the bookies connected to him.
The police are now trying to trace Bhatia’s source of information on betting rates and the clients to whom he was providing this information.
The police may claim to have busted the syndicate, but till the wider network is identified and apprehended, betting will continue unabated during this World Cup. Bhatia was, after all, just a minor cog in the betting chain.
He may be an innovative opportunist using technology to serve a particular communication purpose, but he’s clearly not the only one involved. Given the huge financial stakes, there are probably hundreds of such cupboards out there.