NEW DELHI: S Sreesanth has reportedly told police that the arrested bookie Jiju Janardan alias Biju tried to make an MMS of him in a Mumbai hotel.
This comes a day after TOI reported that the bookies had planned to secretly tape the players while they were with ‘escorts’ – the women used to lure them into accepting the deals.
Jiju, who earlier played for Kerala, is said to be the link between Sreesanth and the bookies. He had allegedly received Rs 10 lakh to arrange women for Sreesanth.
One of the bookies, Chandresh Patel, confirmed that such a plan had been formed after they received instructions from Dubai. When asked where the tape was, he claimed that the plan had not been executed. Cops are taking the admissions with a pinch of salt, sources said.
Sources claimed that cops had reason to believe that all the three players, including Chandila and Chavan, might have been filmed. They are now looking at the threat calls supposedly made to Chandila from Dubai and checking if they had any link with these ‘tapes’.
Sreesanth had checked into a five-star hotel in Mumbai apart from the team hotel, sources said, adding that the footage will be analysed to verify the claims. Cops will also analyse the data in the i-pad and the hard disk of Sreesanth’s laptop recovered by Mumbai Police on Friday night. They might also take mirror images of the hard disk from Mumbai cops.
Elaborating on the role of women in the scandal, cops said their role was not limited to “trapping” players. Chandresh, who is believed to be the leader of the arrested bookies, apparently admitted that he arranged girls for both Chandila and Sreesanth at least five to six times in the last one year.
“They were roped in to lure players. The bookies would place them in a room near to that of the target player. The woman would then test the waters as the players entered or left their rooms, or in the lobby. If they were able to strike up a ‘friendship’, the operation began. Women were also planted at IPL parties after the matches,” said the source. It was during the post-match parties that the bookies hobnobbed with the players, added the source.
“If the player rose to the bait, the woman would try to seduce him into accepting the bookies’ proposal, handed over in an envelope,” the source said. Most of the players would succumb, only to retract later.
The women also bargained with the players to clinch the deal. Cops are trying to ascertain the identity of the woman who was with Sreesanth at the time he was picked up from Carter road. Sources said there were two more women with the players who were let off after they claimed to be friends.
Cops are probing if the IPL match on May 9 was also fixed as Jiju Janardan was present there.