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TOI reported on Thursday
+ that a Bollywood biggie was close to Jalan (41), whose betting activities are spread across India and abroad, notably Gulf countries such as the UAE; Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Police say they have photographic and electronic evidence to prove that Arbaaz and Jalan are more than “just friends”.
An officer said Jalan, in his statement, has mentioned several prominent names who bet huge amounts on certain IPL teams and players. The officer said Jalan’s statement is being corroborated with his hand-written notes in his personal diary, which police possess. Also, the name of a Pakistani politician has come to the fore, an angle cops are probing.
“Arbaaz placed bets during one of the past IPL seasons through Jalan,” a senior officer associated with the probe said. “Subsequently, there was another huge transaction between them.”
In those days, Jalan was working with a big bookie who went by the name Junior Calcutta. Apparently, Khan was blackmailed into paying crores, the threat being that his gambling habit would be exposed. But all this will be probed once Khan gives his side of the story,” the police officer said.
While a police source said Khan may have paid over Rs 3 crore to Jalan, inspector Pradeep Sharma, who is leading the probe into the IPL betting racket, told TOI, “Nothing concrete can be said on this as of now. We need to corroborate it with evidence and statements of those who are linked with the racket.”
Despite repeated attempts by TOI to get his version, Arbaaz didn’t return calls or respond to text messages.
“Our initial estimate of the turnover of the betting scam run by Jalan is Rs 1,000 crore. His network could involve nearly 3,500 punters,” said Sharma.
The police said Jalan travelled to Sri Lanka during an international tournament in 2016 and a probe is on to find out if there was any betting-linked match-fixing at the time.
The anti-extortion cell of the Thane crime branch busted the latest IPL betting racket on May 16 by raiding a Dombivli flat and arresting three bookies: Gautam Savla, Nikhil Sampat and Nitin Punjani.