Bookie Sonu Jalan Roped In Ravi Pujari To Recover Betting Money

Sonu Jalan had been arrested several times in the past by the Mumbai Police. (Representational)

Mumbai:  Interrogation of alleged bookie Sonu Malad alias Sonu Jalan has revealed that he purportedly took help of gangster Ravi Pujari in recovering money from those who placed bets through him during IPL matches but defaulted on payment after incurring losses, police said today.

Thane Police, who are investigating the case, have decided to apply stringent Maharashtra Control on Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Jalan, Pujari and other top bookies, he said.

Application of MCOCA makes it difficult for an accused to secure bail, besides the police get six months to file the chargesheet.

Jalan had been arrested several times in the past by the Mumbai Police in connection with cricket betting.

Meanwhile, Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC) of the police today sent a notice to Bollywood producer Parag Sanghavi asking him to appear before them tomorrow for questioning, the officer said.

Sanghvi’s name had cropped up during interrogation of Jalan who had disclosed that Sanghvi was his “partner” in betting, he said.

Police also summoned one Sameer Buddha, brother of a former police officer, as part of their investigation into the case, he said.

According to the officer, Jalan was picked up by the Thane crime branch from the car of Sameer Buddha on May 29.

Police had last week questioned Bollywood actor and filmmaker Arbaaz Khan during their investigation.

According to the officer, Buddha had lost around Rs 2.5 crore in bets he had placed through Jalan.

Police had claimed that Arbaaz, brother of actor Salman Khan, has told them that he had been betting on cricket matches for the past five to six years.

“It came to light during Jalan’s interrogation that he was allegedly taking help of gangster Ravi Pujari to recover money from those who placed bets during IPL matches but lost,” the officer said.

He said Jalan has revealed his connections with suspected bookies Rakesh Rajkot, Junior Kolkata, Munir Khan, Mannan Amritsar, Kiran Malla, and Ketan Tanna.

“They all are wanted by us and we have been looking for them,” the officer said.

Thane Police have booked Jalan in three cases including a case of extortion lodged by a chili trader, he said.

The officer said the trader had allegedly lost Rs 3 crore in bets he had placed through Jalan.

“After the trader defaulted on payment, Jalan met with him and during that meeting he allegedly called up Pujari who threatened the trader with dire consequences,” he said.

On the complaint of the trader, a case of extortion was registered with Thane Nagar police station against Jalan, Pujari and other bookies, he said.

According to police, Jalan allegedly had several international connections and is considered a big shot bookie in Mumbai.

Jalan allegedly had associates in Delhi, Kolkata, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana, besides in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Africa and Saudi Arabia, police had said.

The AEC had last month arrested four suspected bookies for allegedly operating a betting racket during the recently-concluded IPL season from a shop in Dombivli in Thane district.

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