Scammers arrested after livestreaming fake IPL from farmer’s field to con gamblers in Russia | World News
A fake version of the cricket tournament in India – set up to defraud Russian gamblers – has been disrupted after police arrested the gang behind it.
The sophisticated hoax shows scammers renting out a farmer’s field in Gujarat and setting up cameras to film bogus games.
According to reports, local workers and unemployed people were hired to disguise themselves as players and create fake team names, with the players wearing official IPL kits.
The matches are then streamed live on YouTube so that betting activity in Russia is not suspected.
The Times of India reported that a local man who could pose as commentator Harsha Bhogle was brought in to add realism to the footage.
The newspaper reported, “The crowd noise sound effect downloaded from the internet made the atmosphere real.”
Achal Tyagi, the top police official in Mehsana district, said four men had been arrested in connection with the hoax.
“They have umpires with walkie-talkies to run as they do in IPL and international cricket matches,” he said.
“The setup is good enough to trick the unsuspecting into believing it’s a genuine cricket tournament.”
Mr Tyagi said the referees were telling the players to score or run out depending on the instructions they were given on the walkie-talkie received from the organizers, who had received instructions from a accomplices in Russia on the Telegram app.
Betting on cricket is illegal in India, and the four arrested have been charged with criminal conspiracy and gambling.
The IPL, the world’s richest T20 league, was embroiled in its own illegal betting scandal in 2013, which resulted in two-year suspensions for the Chennai and Rajasthan franchises.
Media rights for the 10-team tournament over the next five years brought in £5.2 billion for the Indian cricket tournament last month.