Bollywood actor and filmmaker Arbaaz Khan on Saturday, 2 June, allegedly confessed to betting on IPL matches and losing Rs 2.75 crore in the process, said Thane Anti-Extortion Cell personnel investigating the case, reported ANI.
Thane Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said that the interrogation were underway and that the deputy commissioner of police will brief the press once concluded.
Meanwhile, Arbaaz Khan said that the police have recorded his statement and he has assured them of his cooperation.
Abhishek Trimukhe, DCP (Crime), told ANI, “Six accused have been arrested in the cricket betting racket. Arbaaz Khan's name came up in the case during interrogation of Sonu Jalan. Arbaaz's statement has been recorded. Some new names have cropped up, and action will be taken against them.”
The city police on Friday, 1 June, had issued summons to the 50-year-old actor-producer to record his statement in connection with the betting racket.
In a letter sent to Arbaaz, the police had asked him to join the probe in light of the arrest of an alleged bookie who was placing bets on the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL), a police official told ANI.
Earlier in the day, Arbaaz had reached the office of the Thane Police's Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) to record his statement, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Abhishek Trimukhe to ANI.
Arbaaz’s Connection With Bookie Sonu
The AEC busted the racket on 15 May with the arrest of four persons in Mumbai, including Sonu Jalan alias Sonu Malad, who is believed to be one of the top bookies of the country, officials said.
During the investigation, a "connection" between Jalan and Arbaaz was established, Pradeep Sharma, Senior Inspector and head of the AEC, told ANI.
Arbaaz Khan was brought face to face with Sonu Jalan at the police station during the interrogation, reported NDTV.
According to an Indiatimes report, Jalan’s statement corroborated with handwritten notes in his personal diary, which is now in the possession of the police. The police had also seized a line holding machine that Sonu used.
"We suspect that Arbaaz Khan had placed bets on IPL matches and want to scrutinise his bank transactions," a police official had told PTI.
Arbaaz allegedly lost Rs 2.80 crore in betting to Jalan and was not paying the amount, following which the bookie had threatened him, the official said citing the interrogation of the arrested accused.
Indiatimes reported that Sonu has also named several prominent people who bet large amounts on IPL teams and players. One of the name is that of a Pakistani politician. The police are now probing his involvement in the case.
IPL Board to Cooperate With Probe
IPL commissioner Rajeev Shukla clarified that the BCCI had nothing to do with the betting scandal. The BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit will cooperate with the police, he added.
Speaking to ANI, the former head of BCCI’s anti corruption unit said, “Cricket doesn't get affected with any kind of betting by a Bollywood personality via a bookie until and unless a cricketer is approached, it is just an offence under the Gambling Act.”
(With inputs from ANI, PTI and Indiatimes)