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66 arrested in Bangalore Turf Club raids for illegal betting and GST fraud

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In a major crackdown, the Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Bengaluru City Police arrested 66 individuals in a raid conducted on Friday at the Bangalore Turf Club, a renowned horse racing establishment. The operation exposed significant irregularities in financial records and Goods and Services Tax (GST) evasion. 

As reported by The Indian Express, a staggering Rs 3.45 crore in cash and 55 mobile phones were seized during the operation and will undergo examination at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL). The Central Crime Branch (CCB) temporarily sealed cash counters at the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) after discovering that bookies were not providing tax invoices, indicating potential tax evasion. Officials suspect that these illicit practices have been ongoing for an extended period.

Acting on a tip-off regarding possible misconduct at the Race Course Road-based club, CCB investigators acted swiftly. Insider information suggested the presence of illicit betting activities, coupled with complaints of improper bookkeeping and the absence of financial records for funds collected from club patrons. The police also uncovered instances of GST evasion during the operation.

Entities implicated in the FIR filed at the High Grounds police station include Srihari Enterprises, Banashankari Enterprises, Surya and Co, Paras and Co, Aditya Enterprises, Tejaswini Enterprises, and Maruti Enterprises, among others.

The FIR alleges that the mentioned stalls were involved in unlawful betting practices, invoking legal provisions under the Indian Penal Code, Karnataka Race Betting Act, and the Karnataka Police Act. This development sheds light on the gaming community’s challenges, highlighting the need for increased vigilance and regulation within the industry.

This marks the second raid by the CCB on the club, with a previous incident occurring in December 2019 when 40 bookies were detained, and Rs 96 lakh in cash was seized. Shortly after, the Enforcement Wing of the Karnataka Goods and Service Tax department conducted a separate raid, exposing a significant tax evasion scandal linked to BTC.

Responding to the recent events, BTC Chairman and senior steward Arvind Raghavan clarified that the club had no involvement in the raids, which specifically targeted 26 licensed bookies on the premises.”

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