Pune: Police bust betting racket while investigating cheating case

Published on:

The Pune city police arrested four youths after conducting an inquiry into a case of cheating that revealed a betting ring. The police said that the main suspect who is also a bookie and is currently on the run.

The accused were currently out on bail and living a lavish lifestyle owning expensive cars and multiple properties. The crime branch Unit-6 raided the betting network after a rise in cricket betting cases in the city.

The four arrested are identified as Nikhar Ahuja, Ronit Roy, Nishant Khalko and Sagar Gaikwad. According to the police, one of the defendants allegedly owns an event management company, and another manages a market research business in Koregaon Park.

“They allegedly duped a city-based businessman of Rs 19 lakh by luring him to invest in the real estate business. However, they used the money for betting and lost it. When the trader demanded his money back, they refused to return it and threatened to kill him,” the police said.

The primary accused in the case has graduated from a reputable city institution where he studied management. Additionally, the police disclosed that the group had communication with about 60 persons who often placed bets on numerous cricket matches.

“In 2021, all the accused met the complainant and told him that they had started a construction business and would launch a project in Undri Pisoli. The complainant alleged that the accused took Rs 19 lakh from him between October 2021 and February 2022. The police arrested the four accused under sections 420, 406, 341, 323, 504, 506, 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” the police added.

All the people arrested in the raid started out as gamblers who later realized that bookies make a lot more than them. They all then graduated to be bookies. At the start the main accused rented a flat but he now owns one sized 5,000 sq ft along with two high-end cars.

“The accused knew that the complainant had money and was single. Nikhar was making good money in betting in the last few years. He introduced the complainant to Ronit, who is a proprietor of a market research company in Koregaon Park with a staff of around 20 employees. He also advised the complainant to invest money. Nikhar and Ronit are the main accused in the racket,” Senior PI Rajnish Nirmal said.

“There is a main bookie overseeing the gang operations. He is absconding. It is difficult to track him down as he used social media platforms to run the racket. Technical analysis of their cellphones is underway. Though it is a cheating case, it is connected with cricket betting. The accused are bookies and they might have cheated many people. However, people do not come forward to lodge complaints as they use black money for betting. We are checking the bank accounts of the accused,” he further added.