Bollywood producer and brother of superstar actor Salman Khan, Arbaaz Khan allegedly placed bets during one of the previous Indian Premier League (IPL) season through an alleged bookie, Sonu Jalan, a police officer from Maharashtra has said.
Khan, who has produced blockbusters Dabangg and Dabangg 2, may have paid over Rs 3 crore to Jalan, who was arrested by the anti-extortion cell of Thane police crime branch on Tuesday, the officer told, according to The Times of India.
Khan had paid large sums of money to Jalan after he was blackmailed by the latter. The 50-year-old was threatened that his "gambling habit" would be exposed if he did not cooperate with the bookie, whose betting activities spread across India and other cricket-playing nations, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.
The Bollywood producer's links with Jalan came to light during interrogation of Jalan. Khan has been summoned for questioning on Saturday, June 2.
"Arbaaz placed bets during one of the past IPL seasons through Jalan. Subsequently, there was another huge transaction between them," the senior officer was quoted as saying by the news daily.
"In those days, Jalan was working with a big bookie who went by the name Junior Calcutta. Apparently, Khan was blackmailed into paying crores, the threat being that his gambling habit would be exposed. But all this will be probed once Khan gives his side of the story," the officer added.
Khan, bookie more than 'just friends': Police
Police have also claimed that Khan and Jalan are "more than just friends" and that they possessed electronic and photographic evidence to prove their claim.
Nonetheless, inspector Pradeep Sharma has maintained that they will not be able to come up with concrete conclusions until they hear both sides of the stories. However, he insisted that their initial estimate suggested the turnover of Jalan's betting scam was Rs 1,000 crore.
Jalan has links with the wanted criminal Dawood Ibrahim and other international bookies, according to The Indian Express. The bookie was arrested once before in 2012 for betting on IPL matches. He also has allegedly involved in match-fixing.
Notably, this is not the first time a film personality has been involved in betting-related issues of the cash-rich IPL. Actor Vindu Dara Singh was arrested in 2013 over spot-fixing charges in 2013 before being released on bail.
The spot-fixing scandal of 2013 shook Indian cricket as it saw three players from Rajasthan Royals, including world cup-winning fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, being banned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India. Also, newly-crowned IPL champions Chennai Super Kings and the Royals were suspended for two years over corruption charges.