In Meerut and Molipur, a group of local cricketers who claimed to be members of the Indian Premier League was able to con Russians into placing sizable bets on them. To effectively dupe consumers, the fraudsters set up amenities such as live streaming and watch boxes.

The Full Story

A group that staged bogus ‘IPL’ matches on a farm in a Gujarat village called Molipur received bets from Russian bettors in towns such as Tver, Voronezh, and Moscow. For almost a fortnight, the aforementioned cricket matches were streamed live on a YouTube channel titled ‘IPL.’

The phoney matches began three weeks after the actual IPL ended, making the huge deception even more brazen. The real-life trick was carried out by 21 agricultural labourers and jobless youngsters from the hamlet, who took turns donning Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Titans, and Mumbai Indians jerseys. Unemployed youths and agricultural labourers even umpired and flaunted their walkie-talkies in front of five high-definition cameras. Crowd noise sound effects were taken from the internet to make the atmosphere more genuine for the Russian audience.

The elaborate scam was further made to look convincing by hiring a ‘commentator’ from Meerut with a talent for impersonating Harsha Bhogle, adding to the fake tournament’s atmosphere. The Russian gamblers then began wagering their money on the Telegram channel set up by the team of scam artists. You have to give full marks to the scammers for the sheer effort they put into this.

So far, four persons have been detained by Mehsana police, who are currently looking into the hawala channel that was utilized to keep the fraud going. Shoeb Davda, who came to Molipur after working for eight months at a Russian tavern, has been identified as the principal organizer. He is renowned for collecting bets. Davda subsequently told investigators that he met Asif Mohammed, the con job’s mastermind while working in a pub. Asif exposed Russian punters to the complexities of cricket at the pub. When they were apprehended, the first instalment of bets from Russia totalling ₹3 lakh had just been handed.

But unfortunately, this was not an isolated incidence. In Uttar Pradesh, a syndicate with a similar operating method was discovered, and two suspects ended up in the hands of the authorities.

Big Boss T20 Punjab League, a fictitious cricket league, was conducted at cricket fields in Meerut, with organizers inviting bettors to wager on the games using a mobile application called “Cric Heroes.” According to police sources, the mastermind of this heist remotely managed the entire operation from the Russian capital of Moscow using a strategy similar to the phoney cricket league discovered in Gujarat. Shitab and Rishabh, two suspects in the scheme, were apprehended close to the bypass route for Meerut. The mastermind, Ashok Chaudhary, used to pay Rishabh between ₹40,000 and ₹50,000 every match. ‘Players’ were compensated for the games as well.

After analyzing the apprehended suspects’ WhatsApp calls and messages, it was discovered that the phone numbers were from Russia, with one number from the Pakistan series. These numbers will be further investigated by the police. The police further added that these bouts have been taking place in Meerut for the past four to five months.

Police also found some cash, mobile phones, debit cards, cameras, an LCD, and a variety of betting devices from the two suspects.

How to Stay Safe While Sports Betting

Every event is just a news article till it happens to you. Then, it is a tragedy. When it comes to sports betting, it is better to be safe than sorry. To keep yourself safe, make sure you are taking the precautions that are discussed below.

The first step towards safe online sports betting is choosing a reliable site. The majority of the industry’s prominent betting sites are regulated and licensed. Always seek a license on their website to determine if a betting site is safe and secure. However, be aware that a few websites, particularly smaller betting sites, might falsify these certificates, so double-check the information you see as well.

Changing your password regularly is one of the easiest yet most effective strategies to secure your online betting account. This prevents online dangers from hacking or accessing your account, especially if you use several devices. In addition to changing passwords regularly, use strong passwords with alphanumeric and special characters. This results in the improvement of the security of your account.

It is also advisable to pay with a credit card or an e-wallet when placing a wager online to further secure your transactions. It is safer and more secure to use these payment options since it protects your own bank money. In the event of fraud, you may easily cancel your credit card and use a smartphone to transfer the remaining balance from your e-wallet to your bank account. Additionally, if your credit card company has procedures in place, they can assist in recovering any monies that may have been taken.

This might seem to be common sense but punters should refrain from clicking on any shady links. Many shady online betting companies may provide alluring promotions, incentives, or advice that seems too good to be true.  Some gamblers, particularly novice ones, are prompted by this to click or download links they should not. Always remember that you do not need to download anything or click links to wager, withdraw, or transfer money at genuine betting sites.

That is all folks! The responsibility for your wellbeing, fortunately, or unfortunately, lies solely with you. Make sure you have taken all the necessary precautions and that you are engaged in responsible betting so that you do not become a part of the scam stories discussed above.


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