New Delhi, Jun 7 (IANS): Delhi Police Thursday said that Raj Kundra, the co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, had admitted to placing bets on his own team in the IPL over the last three years, a charge denied by his wife Shilpa Shetty.
Police said his film star wife, a part owner of the Jaipur-based team, had also bet on at least one match. This was revealed by Ahmedabad-based industrialist Umesh Goenka, said to be Kundra's business partner who acted as his bookie.
"Goenka, whose passport was also seized, said Shilpa Shetty had spent money on betting in one IPL match but he could not recall the game," the official said.
Police sources told IANS that she bet on the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils in Jaipur. But she vehemently denied the accusation.
She tweeted that speculation about her involvement in betting was "complete nonsense".
Reacting to media reports, Shetty tweeted: "For those who care, my apparent involvement in betting is complete nonsense and I have never bet on any cricket match ever. Truth will prevail.
"We love cricket, it's the passion for the sport that made us a part of IPL. It's extremely disheartening to keep clarifying that," she added.
"Just to reiterate, we will do all it takes to reach to the bottom of this 'spot fixing case' and be of complete help till that happens."
Police officials said Kundra's admission came during his 10-hour grilling Wednesday.
"Kundra has admitted that he used to bet on his own team Rajasthan Royals and revealed that he lost money at times," an official told IANS.
Earlier in the day, Kundra, who has business interests in Britain, Dubai, Ukraine and Botswana, claimed he was helping Delhi Police Special Cell in the IPL spot fixing investigation.
"Kundra told us that he along with Goenka was involved in betting for the last three years.
"We have seized Kundra's passport so that he doesn't leave the country till the probe is over. We will be questioning him further," an official added.
Kundra told police that Goenka had been a close friend since they met in London in 2008.
After getting a stake in the Rajasthan Royals in season three of IPL in 2010, Kundra and Goenka have been regulars at the matches played by the team.
“Kundra has been betting since 2011 and has so far lost around Rs.1 crore,” said the official.
The source added that the entire money used in betting by Kundra seemed to have been transacted through Hawala.
"Since Kundra is a key official of Royals, we need to question him further before deciding on his arrest," said the official.
"As of now we are not giving him and Goenka a clean chit," he added.
The official said police will approach the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to act against Kundra as he had broken the norms by betting despite owning an IPL team.
Delhi Police have arrested 26 people, including S. Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, from the Rajasthan Royals team.
While 24 people have been sent to judicial custody, Sreesanth's friend Abhishek Shukla is on bail and bookie Tinku Mandy has been handed over to Mumbai Police.
The 26 people were Tuesday booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. Altogether, 60 people have been arrested across the country in connection with the spot fixing scam.