Mumbai Crime Branch Busts Illegal Online Lottery Centers, Arrests 37
The Mumbai crime branch has launched a major crackdown on illegal online lottery centres, raiding over 10 centres and arresting 37 people. In a swift operation, the police also raided suppliers of banned gutkha and tobacco products. In the last 48 hours, 10 locations were raided, resulting in the arrest of 10 individuals. Despite the state-wide ban on gutkha, these products were being sourced from Gujarat due to high demand and lucrative sales.
The raids, carried out by the crime branch‘s property cell and other special units, targeted illegal online lottery centres operating across the city. The Joint Commissioner of Police Lakhmi Gautam declared that the crackdown is a firm step towards curbing illegal gambling and the sale of banned tobacco products in Mumbai.
Hindustan Times reported a raid on December 20 conducted by officials from Unit 1 targeted a kiosk stall in Crawford Market, resulting in the arrest of five individuals, including the owner and partner, for operating an unauthorized lottery centre named “Canvas Gaming.” Despite lacking official permission, they used customized software to draw results within 15 minutes. The case has been registered under the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, and equipment worth ₹69,000 was seized.
Another operation on the same day, Unit 7 focused on “Atharv Online Lottery,” owned by Vilas Nalawade and managed by Rahul Dhotre. Although both were taken into custody, an inquiry revealed valid licensing from the Maharashtra government. Nevertheless, five individuals were arrested for enticing customers into betting for financial gain. Seven arrests were made, and assets worth ₹80,000 were seized.
The crackdown continued with Unit 11 conducting a raid in Malad (West), apprehending two individuals operating an illegal lottery near Suvarna Hospital. Kanti Parmar, a resident of Mira Road, was found running an unauthorized lottery website. Parmar’s associate, Rohit Pandey, was also arrested for aiding Parmar in the illicit operation.
The Mumbai police’s swift action has dealt a notable blow to illegal online gambling in the city. It is hoped that this crackdown will continue and that other law enforcement agencies across the country will take similar steps to curb the spread of illegal online lottery centres.