Here's how fake IPL in Gujarat village duped Russian punters
Betting across sports, especially in cricket, has been on the rise. In a first, a story of Gujarat's farm laborers duping Russian punters by conducting a fake Indian Premier League is making rounds on social media. As per the Times of India, a gang of cons at a Gujarat farm drew bets from punters in Russia. Read more about this betting saga.
The fabricated IPL tournament took place in a remote farm at Molipur village. While the laborers received Rs. 400 to act as players, the umpires carried fake walkie-talkies to the ground. All of them acted according to the instructions. As many as five HD cameras were installed to broadcast live action on YouTube. Punters from numerous Russian cities placed their bets on Telegrams.
The fake league commenced three weeks after the 2022 Indian Premier League season concluded. A total of 21 farm laborers and unemployed youths from the village participated in the league, sporting jerseys of Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, and Gujarat Titans. The organizers also played crowd-noise sound effects during the games. They even arranged a commentator from Meerut who mimicked the famous Harsha Bhogle.
Can't stop laughing. Must hear this "commentator" pic.twitter.com/H4EcTBkJVa— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) July 11, 2022
According to police, Shoeb Davda, who worked for eight months in a Russian pub, was the "chief organizer" of the con. Police officer Bhavesh Rathod informed that Shoeb hired Ghulam Masih's farm and installed halogen lights there. "He readied 21 farm laborers, promising them Rs 400 per match. Next, he hired cameramen and bought t-shirts of IPL teams," Rathod stated.
Shoeb, during the interrogation, revealed that he had met a person named Asif Mohammed in a Russian pub, who led the masquerade. "Shoeb would take live bets over the Telegram channel. He would instruct the umpire to signal fours and sixes. Kolu communicated the same to the batsmen and bowlers. Acting on the instructions, the bowler would deliver a slow ball," Rathod added.
As per the report in TOI, Asif conducted online workshops related to cricket for punters who gathered in the pubs of Russian cities - Tver, Voronezh, and Moscow. Asif himself worked in one of these Russian pubs.
Is sports betting legal in India? As per a report in The Economic Times, the Indian gambling laws refrain sports betting companies or sites in India from operating within the country. However, several overseas betting platforms allow bets in Indian currency. According to gambling company Parimatch, the Indian online betting market is currently valued at Rs. 6,000 crore (approximately).