Mumbai: Actor, director and producer Arbaaz Khan has been summoned by the Thane police in connection with an Indian Premier League (IPL) betting scam, a senior police official said.
Actor Salman Khan’s brother was summoned days after the arrest of a bookie Sonu Jalan alias Sonu Batla.
The police had recently busted a betting ring and had arrested 42-year-old Jalan, who allegedly operated in the country as well as abroad.
Arbaaz has been asked to record his statement by the Thane police. His name reportedly came up while the police were interrogating Sonu Jalan. Two days after Jalan’s arrest, the Thane anti-extortion cell found a diary with phone numbers of more than 100 bookies.
The names of a Bollywood celebrity, contractors and builders figured in the diary, police said. “We have got the list of bookies and are verifying it with Jalan. We found the book during a search at his home.”
“Jalan had arranged a match-fixing meeting at Dubai. The celebrity was also present at that time. We are probing to know which match was fixed and who all were involved,” police said.
The police are believed to be investigating allegations that he placed bets during the recent IPL season through Sonu Jalan. Jalan was allegedly trying to extort money from him. The police say Sonu Jalan worked for a kingpin of cricket betting who goes by the name of “Junior Kolkata”.
The anti-extortion cell of the Thane Crime Branch raided a building in Dombivli where the nerve centre of an IPL betting ring was located. Three people were arrested and two more arrests were made in the following days.
Jalan (41) was nabbed on the Kalyan sessions court premises, where he had come to “comfort” his partners who were produced there on Tuesday.
Popularly known in gambling circles as Sonu Malad, Jalan is said to be a key person in the betting business, with his activities spread across continents. Police inspector Pradeep Sharma says his annual turnover could be close to Rs 100 crore.
Jalan, a Mumbai resident, is a partner in an online portal which was active during the IPL season. The anti-extortion unit of Thane police claims that his arrest would further expose the betting racket and bring to light an army of bookies.