हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Hawala links of cricketers to be probed

Published: Monday, November 13, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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New Delhi: After their grilling by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the black sheep of Indian cricket - bookies and cricketers alike - now face the not-too-wholesome prospect of being interrogated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for their possible Hawala links. The ED is likely to conduct a thorough probe into Hawala links of those figuring in the CBI's interim report on match-fixing in cricket. "We are waiting for the full report of the CBI to pursue our investigations into Hawala charges," ED Director S S Dawra told Indiaabroad.com. Dawra said the ED would resume its investigations as soon as the Sports Ministry gave its go-ahead after studying CBI's report. The ED has reportedly already initiated inquiries against bookmakers, including the central figure in the murky scandal, Mukesh Gupta alias MK. Senior ED officials maintained that preliminary inquiries had not yielded anything conclusive. "But we are hoping to find some disclosures in the CBI report on how the bookies transferred funds abroad through illegal Hawala channels," they said. They added that no new names had come up so far and the tainted cricketers were definitely within the ambit of the investigations. There have been indications that some cricketers were involved in illegal money transfers, but the directorate has been unable to confirm the allegations. The cricketers named in the CBI report are currently being questioned by an inquiry commission of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Chennai. Five cricketers, Mohammad Azharuddin, Manoj Prabhakar, Ajay Sharma, Ajay Jadeja and Nayan Mongia are the five named prominently in the scandal that has shaken the cricketing world to its core. The CBI has also named 9 overseas players along with several bookies and has alleged that some Indian cricket officials were also involved in corruption. Senior ED officials said the CBI had probed the financial aspects of the case including the Income Tax returns of cricketers said to be involved. Earlier, investigations had been initiated into the alleged links between cricket players and mafia groups operating out of Mumbai. On the match fixing-Hawala-mafia nexus, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax (IT) V B Gupta had said earlier that in the course of the 1994 Mumbai bomb blasts' investigations, Mumbai police had come across several recordings, statements and documents which were enough to prove the nexus of cricket bookies, mafia and the activities of ISI. Gupta had further alleged that some cricket players and Hawala bookies had used the Voluntary Disclosure of Income scheme to convert their black money into white. India Abroad News Service

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