Indian judge alleges betting rings are helping terrorism


Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt
Pakistan Test captain Salman Butt, right, has been questioned by police over betting allegations. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

South Asian betting rings are channelling mllns. of pounds into terrorism and drug trafficking with the connivance of police officers, a judge in India has alerted.

As Scotland Yard goes on its investigation into the alleged betting hoax involving Pakistan cricketers, a senior member of the Indian judiciary has alleged that police are enabling links between organised crime and the sport to flourish.

Judge Dharmesh Sharma aired his alert while hearing an appeal last week into a case regarding betting on a World Cup match between Australia and South Africa in 2007.

British police and the international cricketing authorities are examining allegations of match-fixing involving 3 Pakistan players and an Indian betting ring after a sting surgical operation by the News of the World.

The agent at the centre of the scandal, Mazhar Majeed, is reported to have notified undercover investigators that he supplied information about singular incidents throughout games to an Indian bookmaker, who used the tip-offs to place bets on the fixed end result.

The newspaper published additionally revelations today. Pakistan Test opener Yasir Hameed allegedly claimed in an interview that his team-mates were involucred in fixing "almost every match". Pakistan team manager Yawar Saeed later notified reporters at the team hotel in Cardiff that Hameed had denied such statements, despite the fact there is believed to be video footage of the interview.

The News of the World also mentioned the International Cricket Council (ICC) was investigating a fourth Pakistan player, who has not yet been named, through match-fixing proclaims.

Police formally interviewed 3 Pakistan cricketers involucred in the proclaims on Friday, while the ICC has earlier charged them under its anti-corruption code.

Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Asif and Test captain Salman Butt were all questioned by Met officers through allegations that they arranged for 3 no-balls to be bowled to order in return for money. Police sources mentioned yesterday that the trio can be summoned back for additionally questioning this week.

Discussions are continuing through whether there is enough evidence to fee the cricketers with conspiracy to commit scam. a few reports have claimed that detectives found out bundles of money in the London hotel rooms of Pakistan players after the revelations last Sunday. Hameed, who played in the fourth Test at the Oval, allegedly notified the News of the World: "They've been caught. Only the ones that get caught are branded crooks. They were doing it [fixing] in almost every match. God realizes what they were up to. Scotland Yard was after them for ages. It produces me angry for the reason that I'm playing my absolute and they are trying to lose."

The newspaper will in addition carry reports that investigators apparently recovered between £10,000 and £15,000 in marked bank notes in Butt's room. The new allegations go after an apology on behalf of the 3 players from Pakistan Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi, who in addition confirmed that Majeed, and his brother Azhar, were handling the trio involucred. Speaking in Cardiff, Afridi mentioned: "On behalf of these boys – I know they're not in this series – I wish to mention sorry to all cricket lovers and all the cricketing nations."

Detectives are in addition believed to be going after the cash trail of the alleged global betting hoax to India, where betting is illegal but prevails a massive industry. An estimated £277m alone was gambled on last year's Indian Premier League (IPL). Illegal bookmakers have earlier taken bets on the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 tournament, which starts in South Africa this Friday.

But allegations last week that much of the cash was being siphoned into narcotics and terrorism, with the complicity of police officers, has focused the spotlight on the links between organised crime and betting syndicates.

Sharma, an additional sessions judge, threw out the case contrary two men accused of organising betting on the 2007 match, but then launched into a diatribe on the prevalence of gambling in India, describing the escalating involvement of betting rings in cricket as alarming. "The extent of cash that it made is diverted to clandestine and sinister objectives like drug trafficking and terrorist tasks," he mentioned.

Sharma claimed there were as lots as 3,000 illegal bookmakers operating in Delhi alone and that the IPL was the subject of a few of the heaviest betting. "This could not be completed under the notably nose of police without their know-how," he added.

The IPL has been a moneyspinner for top cricketers, but not those from Pakistan, who missed out on the bonanza due to the deterioration of relations among the two countries through the Mumbai terrorist attacks of 2008.

Although a Pakistan international cricketer might expect to earn about £25,000 a year, that figure is dwarfed by the mllns. on offer by ways of the IPL. a few commentators this week have recommended that this may be one of the circumstances Pakistan's players might have been more open to financial inducements.

Amir and Asif, both bowlers, and Butt, Pakistan's captain, have in addition been suspended from all cricket by the ICC in the wake of the allegations. The reaction in Pakistan was one of initial shock, rapidly turning to denial as the scale of the national shame became apparent. Television news was dominated by the scandal, which pushed the country's floods off the best of the time table.

In London, the Pakistan high commissioner, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, criticised the ICC for suspending the players, describing the action as "unhelpful, premature and unnecessary".

However, the ICC mounted a robust defence of its actions. Its chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, mentioned on Friday: "We have been clear that we will not tolerate any type of corruption in the sport and upholding the integrity of cricket is paramount and fundamental to every single one of us."
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