MUMBAI: Bollywood actor-producer Arbaaz Khan has confessed to involvement in betting over IPL matches, according to police officials of Thane anti-extortion cell involved in the investigations.
Arbaaz was today called to record his statement before the anti-extortion cell of Thane police. At the police station, he was made to sit face-to-face with alleged bookie Sonu Jalan, arrested earlier in the case.
The AEC busted the racket on May 15 with the arrest of four people in Mumbai, including Sonu Jalan alias Sonu Malad, who is believed to be one of the top bookies of the country, officials have said.
During the investigation, a “connection” between Jalan and Arbaaz was established, said Pradeep Sharma, Senior Inspector and head of the AEC, yesterday. The two are said to have known each other for over five years.
Sonu, the alleged kingpin of the IPL betting racket, in his police statement also mentioned several prominent names who bet huge amounts on IPL teams and players, an officer from the anti-extortion cell of the Thane crime branch said on Friday.
He said Jalan’s statement corroborated with handwritten notes in his personal diary, which is now in possession of the the police. A line holding machine used by Sonu was also seized. 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, said, “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.”