'Bookie' Vindoo was close to BCCI chief's son-in-law: cops

Virendra Randhawa alias Vindoo Dara Singh, the screen and reality television actor who was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the alleged fixing of cricket matches, had been in constant touch with the son-in-law of BCCI chief N Srinivasan over the last five or six years, investigations by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch have revealed.

The man, Gurunath Meiyappan, is married to Srinivasan's daughter Rupa, and is the team principal and CEO of Chennai Super Kings, Srinivasan's IPL team. Vindoo was seen sitting next to Sakshi Dhoni, the wife of CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, at the Chepauk during this IPL season.

Vindoo and Meiyappan allegedly exchanged several calls until very recently. However, Crime Branch officers said they were not treating Meiyappan as a suspect yet. Neither Srinivasan nor Meiyappan were available for comment.

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'Bookie' Vindoo was close to BCCI chief's son-in-law: cops

"Vindoo has accepted knowing and being in touch with Meiyappan. He has said that he first met the businessman at a cricket-related party six years ago, and stayed in touch. We are conducting further inquiries to check if he is in any way involved in the racket, and only after that will we take any further steps," a senior Crime Branch officer said.

Police are learnt to have established that Vindoo was an active bookie himself, and went by the nickname Jack in betting circles. He allegedly accepted bets from a fixed and limited set of clients numbering no more than 20, and passed them on to bigger bookies like Jupiter, Tikku, Sanjay Jaipur and Pawan Jaipur. He also put his own money on matches, sources said.

"Vindoo has said during interrogation that he was addicted to gambling and has been doing this for the last six years. He has bet on IPL as well as other cricket matches. In this season of the IPL, he had made a profit of Rs 17 lakh. However, settlements are made at the end of each season, and he was arrested before he could collect the money," an officer said.

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