Two men have been arrested in a Bengaluru addiction center, accused of using it as a cover to run an underground gambling operation.
Honappa Kumar and his cousin Ashok Kumar, who run the Mahadeshwara De-Addiction Center, were caught red-handed running several cash-betting card and table games at the center.
According to the Indian Express, 14 people were found to be gambling there at the time of the raid. Police also seized 78,000 Rs ($1,077) and arrested the two men who ran the center.
To make the crime even more brazen, the addiction center is less than a mile away from the Byadarahalli police station.
“The group gathered here throwing the Covid guidelines to wind as we go through a crucial time of the pandemic and it is never acceptable,” Deputy Police Commissioner Sanjeev M. Patil told local media.
“We are, hence, writing to the BBMP (municipal body) to cancel the license of the center as such activities have also put 15 inmates of the center at high risk,” he finished.
This is not the first gambling raid organized by Bengaluru police in the past year. It’s not likely to be the last, either.
Despite (or maybe partly because of) the pandemic, police forces across India have been cracking down hard on people gathering to gamble together illegally.
Back in October 2020, over 96 lakh Rs (worth over $150,000) was seized at an illegal gambling event in the city.
Several teams from the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch raided Hotel Bangalore Inn and arrested 65 people after a thorough search that lasted the whole weekend.
Police believe the organizers of the ring are still on the run.
Shortly after that large operation, the CCB was back at it again. In November 2020, it conducted another illicit gambling raid. This time, the four ringleaders of the operation were all caught and charged.
“CCB sleuths had raided a building at RPC Layout under Vijayapura police station limits based on a tip-off. The gang comprising four accused were found to be illegally collecting money from the public to use for horse race gambling,” said Joint Crime Commissioner Sandeep Patil at the time.
In another surprising incident from the past year, Bengaluru police raided some of their own officers.
After an anonymous tip, nine men were arrested at a hotel in J.P Nagar. They were caught in the middle of a cash gambling game worth about 54,500 Rs ($753).
However, it was only when details of the case went higher up the chain of command that the force realized several of the arrested men were from their own ranks.
There was no suggestion of any organized profiteering from this particular case.
They were simply friends hanging out having a birthday party. Nevertheless, as police officers, they should be held to the highest standard.
All four were suspended without pay and have since been fired from the force.
For the latest news on gambling in India and the wider Asian region, legal or otherwise, keep checking Gambling Times India!