On March 26, 2013, a team of Delhi Police special cell officers were listening in to a call from Pakistan to Dubai. The 108-seconds long conversation mentioned words like "league", "over" and "rates". The caller was no other than fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim. And that was to be the unravelling of one of the biggest rackets in Indian cricket.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court-appointed Justice R.M. Lodha Committee suspended IPL cricket franchisees Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings from the Indian Premier League for two years.
Former BCCI president N. Srinivasan's son-in-law and IPL team Chennai Super Kings' official Gurunath Meiyappan and former Rajasthan Royals part-owner Raj Kundra were suspended for life from any activities related to the sport for illegal betting and bringing “disrepute to the game”.
The process of unearthing the scam began with the conversation between the bookies that Delhi Police had tapped in 2013. It led them to the three Rajasthan Royal players -- Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan.
The joint operation by Mumbai and Delhi police eventually led to the arrest of over 50 people in different states, including players, their agents/managers and bookies.
Dawood Ibrahim's Role
According to a Times of India report, Neeraj Kumar, who was the commissioner of police at the time, got suspicious as the underworld men discussed cricket in great detail.
The police in 2013 had said that they need more audio clips of fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim's voice for establishing his identity in taped conversations between cricketers, bookies and suspected underworld gang members in the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
Reports have now confirmed that the caller was in fact the underworld don. With the help of intelligence agencies and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Delhi Police found that out through layered voice analysis tests.
Police have telephonic intercepts in which some of the bookies made calls to Dubai, Karachi and other cities of Pakistan to fix and alter spot-fixing and betting rates. "The calls were made to fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim and his aide Chhota Shakeel, whose name is mentioned in the list of suspects in the IPL spot fixing case," an official had told journalists.
The underworld don's name came to light after the arrests of bookie Ramesh Vyas, in Mumbai by Mumbai police, and bookie Ashwani Aggarwal alias Tinku Mandy, in Mumbai by Delhi Police.
Vyas and Aggarwal were allegedly handling Dawood Ibrahim's betting syndicate in south and north India.