Delhi police takes down a huge illegal gambling operation in the village of Ghitorni, New Delhi.
India.- A late-night surprise raid on a hotel basement led to the arrest of 58 people and the apprehension of cash, gambling tokens, poker tables and much more. This is part of the ongoing efforts of India’s law enforcement offices to cut down on gambling across the country.
Among those arrested were financial traders, business executives, industrialists, entrepreneurs and others.
Police were able to get wind of the gambling activity thanks to tips from locals. Firstly, “We received inputs about a makeshift casino running from the basement of Imperial hotel in Ghitorni area. Then we cross-checked the information and verified the guest entries before conducting the raid” said Devendra Arya, Delhi’s police deputy commissioner.
The rather sophisticated operation was organized by three individuals who would routinely change the venue to escape detection. Moreover, they would send the word out on WhatsApp, providing only a general location for the next spot, and a person would operate at that spot, acting as a guide to show the gamblers the rest of the way to the venue.
Furthermore, the hotel is reportedly going to be held accountable for the activity, as well – however, no further details were given.
Most forms of gambling are illegal in India, as the Public Gambling Act of 1867 clearly states that the running or visiting a public gaming house is punishable by modest fines or prison terms. However, the states of Goa and Sikkim, allow casinos on their territories.
Lastly, the raid and arrests take place only days ahead of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. This year, the religious festival will run from October 25-29.