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He said Jalan’s statement is corroborated with his handwritten notes in his personal diary, which the police possess. Also, the name of a Pakistani politician has come to the fore, an angle the police are probing.
“Actor Arbaaz Khan placed bets during one of the past IPL seasons through Jalan. In those days, Jalan was working with a big bookie who went by the name Junior Calcutta. Subsequently, too there was a huge transaction between Jalan and Khan. 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,” a senior officer associated with the probe 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, Khan 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 cricket 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. Two more arrests (of bookie Khushal Malad and software supplier Vrajesh Joshi) were made till May 28. On Tuesday, Jalan unwittingly handed himself over to the police when he came to the Kalyan court to meet Savla, Sampat and Punjani, who were to be produced there that day. During their interrogation, the bookies had revealed that Jalan was the key player in the racket, which was conducted online, said Sharma.