Spot-fixing taint reaches Bollywood, Dara Singh’s son Vindoo arrested

MUMBAI: IPL spot-fixing stainedBollywood when police arrested Vindoo Randhawa, son of late wrestler-actor Dara Singh, for his alleged association with bookies, busting the first filmdom link to the scandal.

The Crime Branch of Mumbai police also arresteda hawala operator and a conduit of a betting syndicate as it widened its probe into the racket, taking the number of those arrested by it in connection with the spot-fixing case to nine since the May 14 arrest of Ramesh Vyas, the alleged kingpin.

Virendra Darasingh Randhawa alias Vindoo was picked up from his suburban Juhu residence and arrested this morningfor his alleged links with the bookies, who were already arrested by the crime branch. Vindoo was also into betting, Joint Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy told reporters.

“Vindoo was questioned after he was found to be in contact with the bookies and subsequently arrested today. His custodial interrogation will continue,” Roy said after a metropolitan court remanded him and two others in police custody till May 24.

A Mumbai-based hawala operator Alpeshkumar Patel, who ensured inflow and outflow of money from Pakistan to India via Dubai for the purpose of betting, was apprehended from his office in south Mumbai’s Kalbadevi area.

Rs 1.28 cash and two mobile phones were recovered from him, Roy said. Patel was actively involved in the hawala transactions for which he used to charge anything between 0.25 and 0.5 per cent for each transaction.

Prem Taneja, a conduit for bookies, was arrested from immigration area at the Mumbai international airport while he was trying to flee to Dubai. Taneja was in close contact with Vindoo.

Crime Branch sources claimed that 49-year-old Vindoo, winner of reality television show Bigg Boss season 3, was in touch with some bookies arrested in the scandal and was himself into betting. He was on many occasions spotted watching IPL matches and attending post-match parties.

His arrest is the first from Bollywood in connection with the latest scandal to hit Indian cricket.