For a chosen set of well-heeled gambling enthusiasts, going to a casino did not mean taking a flight out of the country. They had one right here in the capital. A quiet farmhouse in a secluded corner of Sainik Farms in south Delhi used to transform into a full-fledged casino after 10pm, catering to a high-profile clientele of south Delhi businessmen through the night, police said.
The illegal operation was busted in a surprise raid by the night patrolling officer in the area. As many as 19 players (mostly businessmen), five organisers and 12 staffers have been arrested.
Chips worth Rs 1.37 crore, 11 luxury cars, 23 bottles of imported liquor and 250 packets of cards were also seized during the raid.
Police said the entry fee to the “club” was Rs 5 lakh and any new entrant needed to be introduced by two existing members. The casino had tables for blackjack, rivoli and roulette, and chips were provided from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1lakh.
“It was closed group. Information was shared through word of mouth, especially among property dealers, transporters, businessmen and industrialists in south Delhi,” a police officer said. The operators didn’t use Whatsapp or Facebook to avoid unwarranted publicity and possible surveillance, the officer said.
A special coin was used as an identity card for members. The person, who introduced a new member, got a free coin to encash at the counter. The casino operated till early morning.
Once a person was done playing, he would have to provide a contact number and an address where the organisers could inform him about the dates of the next game. “It was not a daily affair and dates would be announced through messengers. The games would be for anything between Rs 5,000 and 5 lakh,” the officer added.
Cops got wind of the operation after spotting a member carrying chips entering the farmhouse. Enquiries in the neighbourhood and the presence of several luxury cars parked outside the farmhouse only added to the suspicion.
“Cops from Neb Sarai police station were roped in and teams led by Diwan Chand Sharma, ACP of district investigation unit, who was performing night duty , conducted a raid at J-255, Sainik Farms,” additional DCP (south) Nupur Prasad said.
“The raiding party found that around two dozen people were playing in the premises on five tables. Two separate cases under Delhi Gambling Act and Delhi Excise Act were registered. The owner of the premises and the alleged proprietor and partner of the casino are absconding,” the DCP added.
Police have requested the court to order sealing of the property under the provisions of Delhi Gambling Act.
Credits : TOI