Khwaja is suspected to be the man who would fix the rate for cricket betting from West Indies. Pakistani cricketers have been suspected to have had links with the betting mafia in the past.
Khwaja, a Rawalpindi-based bookie, is said to be close to Dawood Ibrahim. Ibrahim has been seen at several parties in Pakistan organised by Iqbal Karachi, another bookie. This was revealed by deported Dawood aide Abdul Qayyum, who is currently in CBI’s custody for his alleged role in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.
Sources said if the Jamaican police start probing the Pakistani betting syndicate, Indian gangsters holed up in Pakistan too will have a tough time. Woolmer was writing a book and had come to India and met New Delhi police commissioner K K Paul and discussed many issues. Paul headed an investigation into match fixing and had interrogated several cricketers and bookies in the past.
Qayyum is a former FBI informer, said crime branch officials. He was deported two months ago from Dubai. “During interrogation, Qayyum spoke about the D-gang’s involvement in the betting business. He said Dawood has placed his men in most of the games for betting. Qayyum added that the D-gang had spread its wings in other countries’ betting syndicates too,’’ said an officer who interrogated Qayyum.
A police officer said Dawood and his aide Chhota Shakeel stepped into crime with small theft, assault and betting cases. They used to monitor betting at small carrom clubs and matka dens in Dongri in the late ’70s.
Dawood’s close aide Sharad Shetty, who looked after his betting business from Dubai, was shot down in an Indian snooker club in 2002, a year before the World Cup. After he was gunned down by Chhota Rajan’s hitmen, Dawood asked his brother Anees Ibrahim to take charge of the betting business in the Gulf. Chhota Shakeel is believed to be operating the betting syndicate from Pakistan.
The Times of India, March 27, 2007