Five men have been arrested for allegedly running a betting racket during the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore, police said.
Three of them were arrested from inside the Eden Gardens where the match was held on Wednesday, while the other two were arrested from a guesthouse in New Market in the central business district.
According to an officer in Lalbazar, the five are from Darbhanga district in Bihar. The trio inside the stadium was sitting in the F1 block.
“We had received information that at least three men had entered the Eden Gardens pretending to be viewers and were actually part of a betting racket. We zeroed in on the three and seized five mobile phones,” said the officer.
The three have been identified as Sunil Kumar, 23, Aniket Kumar, 22 and Obada Khalil, 29.
“During interrogation, we found that two of their gang members were staying in a guest house in New Market. We arrested them and seized two more mobile phones,” the officer added.
The two arrested from the guesthouse have been identified as Amar Kumar Mahto, 25, and Ajay Kumar, 24.
According to officers of the detective department, the trio inside the stadium were relaying the score and the developments on the field over the phone. The men at the guest house were using the information to place bets.
A senior police officer who is part of the investigating team said punters — people who place the bet or indulge in gambling — often send their agents inside the stadium for real-time updates. The time difference between the actual event on the field and the telecast time on the television helps them place the bets.
A case under sections 3 and 4 of the West Bengal Gambling and Prize Competition Act, along with sections of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Indian Penal Code was initiated with the Maidan police station on Wednesday.