04/10/2012 : GOONGA'S GETTING INDIAN BETTING GOING
Where there's a betting will, there will always be a way….
Goonga cards used by illegal mobile bettors on Indian cricket are leaving the cops clueless, according to a piece in the Bangalore Mirror on Monday.
In cricket-mad India the bookies and bettors are resorting to more sophisticated methods to work around bans on betting, the newspaper reports, noting that the latest is Goonga cards – a codename used for mobile SIM cards which are being circulated by leading bookies among their agents.
The SIM card is handed over to close confidants and associates, and are being sold at high prices for one-way communication only.
“A few minutes before the match begins, we switch on the mobile and then start getting either SMSs or calls on it," one bookie told reporters.
"There is no conversation and the messenger either calls from an unknown number or keeps changing his number. My job is to convey the latest rate to those who place bets and they put their money on the match accordingly. If the bookie who has sent me this card grows suspicious of me, he will make the SIM dysfunctional.”
Users of Goonga cards are charged a monthly sum by the bookie; if it is not paid, the service is cut off. The SIM cards come from different mobile companies, which may have no inkling of their use in illegal transactions.
The betting heyday may not last, however. A police spokesman admitted that the police were aware of the goonga card tactic, although with bookies changing their cards and numbers so frequently, it was difficult to continuously keep track of them.
“We have zeroed in on a few bookies who indulge in this illegal business. However, big fishes at whose behest they operate are yet to be tracked down," the spokesman said….but he revealed: "We have chalked out a special plan and have also been in touch with the mobile companies. By the time tournaments peak we hope to make a big breakthrough by catching a few key bookies."