Thane, Jan 4 (PTI) Eight persons were arrested and electronic equipment was seized in police raids into a sham online lottery scheme being operated using unauthorised software mimicking a government-approved one, Navi Mumbai police said Friday.

Inspector Jagdish Kulkarni of Navi Mumbai police’s Crime Branch said agents were running this parallel lottery scheme from places like Nashik, Kolhapur, Latur and Ratnagiri and it was causing losses to the government.

The police operation began following a tip-off that such a lottery scheme was being carried out from a premises in Koparkhairane in Navi Mumbai, he said.

He identified the arrested persons as Anil Pawar, Usman Gani Hussain Tiddikal, Abdulkudus Mohmmad Yakub Shaikh, Sandeep Kute, Ravindra Ghuge, Samir Deshpande, Sanjay Alandkar and Sachin Achrekar.

The official said Tiddikal was the mastermind of the racket and had supplied the unauthorised software to Pawar.

Five computers, six laptops, 37 hard disks, scanners, printers, adaptors and result sheets were seized in the raids, he added.

A case had been registered under the Indian Penal Code, the Maharashtra Lottery Act and the Maharashtra Gambling Act and further probe was underway by Crime Branch teams, he informed.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.