Howzzat! Bookies gave Rauf belts, suits, shoes, nasal hair trimmer

Mihir Vasavda Posted online: Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Mumbai : Eleven belts, eight suits, a Panasonic nasal hair trimmer, seven pieces of dress materials for women and a Tommy Hilfiger pen...these are just a few of the expensive gifts that bookies had allegedly bought for controversial Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf during the IPL tournament earlier this year, according to the chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police in the betting and spot-fixing case.

The 11,000-page document also has details of telephone intercepts of May 12 in which Rauf, while allegedly placing bets with bookie Prem Taneja, is quoted as confirming receiving a watch and demanding Rs 2 lakh to go shopping.

Following this alleged conversation, according to information provided by Taneja during interrogation, the Mumbai-based bookie sent two bags that were to be delivered to Rauf through his brother Arun Taneja in New Delhi by Air India cargo.

The cargo was allegedly sent on May 20. However, Prem Taneja was arrested on May 21 at the airport while trying to leave the country. Subsequently, Mumbai police asked Air India for the custody of the bags and they were sent back to Mumbai on May 23.

According to the chargesheet, one of the bags contained a yellow-and-black Adidas shirt, blue Sports Co 2002 shirt, black-and-green Nike sports shoes, white Nike sports shoes, eight suits, black, brown and blue shoes, two Celia and Barrom Co trousers, Adidas shorts, 10 Nike and Celio T Shirts, a Panasonic nasal hair trimmer, a Tommy Hilfiger pen and nine black leather belts.

The second bag contained three Pune Warriors t-shirts which had ‘Rahul’, ‘Ali Zaidi’ and ‘Smith’ written on the back along with track pants. It also contained two Mumbai Indians t-shirts and one jacket which had ‘Harbhajan’ written on the back.

Apart from these IPL team jerseys, the bag contained six leather hand purses, four leather pocket purses, two sando vests, green coloured clothes, two pairs of socks and one black hand purse with three marble stone pieces.

The police has also seized some bills. Three of them — two dated April 25 (worth Rs 6,000 and Rs 38,500), one on April 26 (Rs 22,000), were paid for by Taneja. All the bills were in the name of Asad Malik.

Rauf was in Mumbai on May 14 as he was to officiate in the match between the Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals on May 15.

In fact, there were 80 calls exchanged between Rauf and bookie Vindoo Dara Singh between April 12 and May 17. Rauf’s local phone number and sim card is said to have provided to him by Sanjay Chhabra, a well-known bookie, for whom Taneja was working.

During one of those calls, Rauf is believed to have asked for ‘birthday gifts’ from Vindoo. According to the police transcripts, Rauf told Vindoo: “Do you know my birthday is coming up?” to which the actor replied: “Asadbhai, don’t worry, we will take care of it. I will convey the message to Pawanbhai (Pawan Jaipur, a bookie).”

Rauf had refuted allegations of accepting gifts from bookies. “Let them prove something. I mean, if it was the case that I have taken a favour or a gift or money was given to me...You got to prove allegations,” Rauf had said.

Mumbai police have not been able to interrogate Rauf in as he fled the country soon after reports of his alleged involvement surfaced.