Raj Kundra, a co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals, the team at the centre of a massive spot-fixing and gambling scandal, has admitted to betting in the Indian Premier League or IPL, claimed sources in the Delhi Police, who interrogated the businessman all day yesterday.
Police sources said that Mr Kundra said that he placed bets on the IPL "for the last two-three years." Betting on all sports except horse-racing is illegal in India. But the police is unlikely to book him for gambling, which is a bailable offence. The police says it wants to focus on establishing links between bookies and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's crime syndicate or "D Company."
The Royals have four owners including Mr Kundra's wife Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty.
To prevent him from leaving the country, Mr Kundra was made to hand over his passport to the Delhi Police yesterday.
Three cricketers from the Royals including S Sreesanth were arrested last month on charges that they took money from bookies to concede a pre-determined number of runs in the recently-concluded edition of the IPL. The players have denied the allegations.
Spot-fixing, in which a specific part of the match but not the outcome is fixed, is illegal.
A player from the team, Siddharth Trivedi, who has turned approver in the case, has allegedly told the police that before an IPL match in Ahmedabad, he was approached by Mr Kundra's business partner, Umesh Goenka, who asked him about the pitch and which cricketers would play for the Royals that day. The cops want to know if Mr Kundra was aware of this incident, and of the reported links between bookies and some of his team-members.