Wednesday August 8,2013 : MOBILE GAMBLING RING BUSTED IN MUMBAI
33 arrested in police action against seven locations
Police investigators in Mumbai carried out extensive surveillance and took video footage of suspected gambling centres before applying for search warrants and embarking on a series of raids this week, the India Times reports.
The raids resulted in the confiscation of electronic devices used for mobile gambling and other evidence, along with the arrest of 33 persons working or gambling at seven different premises belonging to companies titled PlanetG and Pratik Games, a police spokesman revealed.
"Before we raided the gaming parlours, we wanted to be sure that what was going on it was a form of gambling," said commissioner of police Sunil Paraskar. "Not only have citizens lost lakhs of rupees in online gambling, but the government, too, has been cheated as these establishments had licenses for a software business."
"We sent dummy customers with marked notes to these parlours. After introductions, the dummy customers were provided user IDs and passwords to create accounts. They paid a minimum of Rs 1,000 to start playing," said investigating officer L G Shinde, adding that punters could gamble on all the popular games that a land casino has, such as Roulette, Bingo, Super Golden Wheel, Fun Targets and Checkers.
"Once a player gets his user ID, he does not have to visit the parlour again. The virtual casino can be accessed online from home, office or on smartphone while travelling. Winning amounts are delivered at home or picked up from the parlour," Shinde said.
Commissioner Paraskar revealed that the police were alerted to the gambling ring following complaints from players who had lost large sums of money – some so big that they had been required to sell off their properties to meet their obligations.
The spokesman also claimed that illegal online and mobile gambling is rampant in the region, with at least 300 venues providing services.