Social Security Team raids six illegal online gambling centres in Shivajinagar

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Pune’s crime branch officials raided six online gambling centres situated near the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) headquarters in Shivajinagar on July 18, Monday. The officers found gambling material and other equipment such as mobile phones among other things, worth INR 45 lakh from the centres.

A complaint was registered at the Shivajinagar Police Station on 55 people for handling and managing these centres. The raids at these centres were carried out by a social security cell team, led by Rajesh Puranik. A decoy customer was first sent there before the raids began, an official from the police department told the Times of India.

Social security cell head Puranik stated that these gambling “den” operators plotted this to evade tax, and hence started the online gambling business without having any license. “These gambling den operators colluded to evade tax and started conducting gambling online. These gambling dens are illegal. They do not have any licence,” Puranik was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

These dens are present inside the lottery centres

The police officials booked 55 people under the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, Sections 120 B (conspiracy), 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology Act. In most places, these dens are present inside the lottery centres.

The officers found the operators of the gambling dens receiving bets and running fraudulent activity using mobile phone messaging apps. It was only in April when a raid was carried out in the suburbs of Pune in Hinjewadi for running an illegal gambling den, which operated on a hillock at Bavdhan. Four men were arrested and as much as INR 2,000 along with three motorbikes were seized from the spot.

The Hinjewadi Police department raided the place based on a discreet message, and there were 10 men present in the area. The police officials claimed that they have discovered their identities.