Sanjeev Chawla, a British National accused of his involvement in the 2000 match-fixing scandal has been extradited from UK and has being brought to New Delhi on Thursday. Chawla was a bookie, accused of acting as the link between former South Africa captain Hansie Cronje and other bookies when the infamous scandal broke out in the year 2000.Also Read - All Cricket Matches Are Fixed, None is Played Fairly: Bookie Sanjeev Chawla
Chawla, 50, was taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police before being handed to over to Delhi Police. He is expected to undergo a required medical examination, after which he will then be taken to Delhi’s Tihar jail and be in custody in accordance with the Indian government’s assurances to the UK courts. Also Read - Hansie Cronje Fixing Case: Wanted Bookie Sanjeev Chawla to be Extradited to India
“We can only issue a statement when the extradition has taken place,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Wednesday. Also Read - Ravichandran Ashwin Makes Fixing Jibe at Herschelle Gibbs After Latter Trolls The Spinner For Being Slow
Reports suggest that the flight carrying Chawla landed in Delhi an hour before its scheduled arrival time. As per the documents presented, Chawla is a New Delhi-born businessman who switched countries and moved to the UK on a business visa in 1996. After his Indian passport was revoked in 2000, he received a local passport five years later and became a citizen of the United Kingdom.
Earlier, it was also reported that Scotland Yard officers were preparing to hand over Chawla to Delhi Police to face match-fixing charges in India. Those in the know of things suggest that the case’s final paperwork was finalised for the handover to take place at England’s Heathrow Airport.
“We will do in-depth and thorough investigation and are likely to question all the former Indian cricketers whose names surfaced during that time regarding their alleged roles in the match-fixing case,” DCP (crime branch) Ram Gopal Naik, who was sent to London for this purpose told The Indian Express.
Chawla’s extradition could also spell trouble for many former cricketers. As per a dossier prepared on him by Crime Branch reveals that several Indian cricketers were frequenting his bungalow, 4, Monk Ville Avenue, London and their phone numbers figuring on Chawla’s phone list in Call Data Records (CDRs) was recovered by police for the period of January to March 2000.
“I am eagerly awaiting the outcome of questioning of Chawla, the mastermind of match-fixing case who paid huge amounts to several cricketers to change results of important international matches. His interrogation will unravel more scandals of the past,” said Ajay Raj Sharma, former IPS officer who headed Delhi Police when match-fixing saga rocked Indian cricket.
In September of 2016, Chawla was arrested by in London on the request of Delhi Police. It’s crime branch had filed a chargesheet against him in 2013 for his involvement in the 2000 match-fixing saga, which also included Cronje. It was in March last year when the UK Home Secretary allowed Chawla’s extradition to be carried after the Westminster Magistrates’ Court had not voted in favour of the same.
The match-fixing scandal erupted in April of 2000 after Delhi Police got discovered recorded conversations between Cronje and Chawla in a conspiracy related to “match-fixing and betting” during South Africa’s tour of India in 2000. Chawla, who turned a major bookie for the D-Company in the late 1990s, would be the second person to be extradited from London since UK signed an extradition treaty with India in 1992.