‘Fixing Kingpin’ Chawla likely to be flown on Monday, top bookies jittery (IANS Exclusive)

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) The UK Home Department is expected to give a final go ahead to extradite cricket betting kingpin Sanjeev Chawla to India on Monday.

The UK High Court had dispatched a sealed envelope to Home Department to take a final call on Chawla, whose appeal against extradition was turned down by two judges of the High Court on Thursday, highly placed sources in Delhi Police told IANS.

London based businessman Sanjeev Chawla, who turned a major bookie for the D-company in the late 1990s, would be the second person to be extradited from London since UK signed an extradition treaty with India in 1992.

Sources said Chawla is expected to be flown to India on an Air India flight reaching Delhi early Tuesday morning. Ram Gopal Naik, DCP Crime, Delhi Police, is presently in London with his team to take custody of Chawla, once the UK Home Department issues order for the bookie’s release.

“The High Court has already given its orders. Now we are only awaiting certain extradition formalities to be carried out by the Home Department. It seems by Monday afternoon we will have the orders in hand,” said an official of the Delhi Police Crime Branch.

Sources said that Chawla operated one of the biggest betting syndicates in late ’90s under the patronage of Mumbai-based business tycoons and operatives of D-Company. While Chawla fixed matches through top cricketers in South Africa, India, Pakistan and other countries, D-Company ensured that bids are settled smoothly through overseas hawala transactions.

“Though Chawla is being brought to India after 19 years, his interrogation in Delhi would expose several big faces in the cricketing world,” said Ajay Raj Sharma, who was the Delhi Police Commissioner in 2000 when the match-fixing scandal rocked the sporting fraternity.

Sharma had personally supervised the enquiry which saw former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje and later Indian skipper Mohammed Azharuddin being banned from the gentleman’s game for life.

After Sharma’s retirement as DG, BSF, the investigation was virtually shelved by his successors. In 2013, the then Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar instructed the team to complete the investigation and file the chargesheet.

“On the day of my retirement, I signed the file to chargesheet the accused in the match-fixing scandal. Later when I retired, I pursued with the then Joint CP Crime, Alok Kumar, to process the extradition request for Sanjeev Chawla who was reportedly hiding in the UK. I am thankful that Crime Branch officers followed the case,” Neeraj Kumar told IANS.

Kumar also unearthed the spot fixing scandal in Indian Premier League which caught several top crickets in the net. The spot fixing scandal was patronised by D-Company boss Dawood Ibrahim and his lieutenant Chhota Shakeel.

( can be reached at [email protected])

–IANS

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