Vyas was operating an illegal telephone exchange in the busy Kalbadevi business area of Mumbai until his arrest on 14 May. Mumbai Police Crime Branch joint commissioner Mr Himanshu Roy said the raid on Vyas' den resulted in a big haul. The cops not only smashed an illegal telephone exchange but also seized 92 cell phones, 18 SIM cards, computers and television sets. Of the 92 cell phones, 30 were exclusively for live tele-conferencing with bookies in Dubai, Kolkata, Karachi and some other cities of Pakistan.
Vyas, till recently an insignificant bookie, joined the bigger underworld league in place of Firoz Ansari ~ a trusted operative of Chota Shakeel who with Anis Ibrahim lord over the cricket betting syndicate ~ arrested last year during IPL 5 from a posh apartment in Kandivali (east) Lokhandavala Complex. Crime Branch sources say Dawood Ibrahim is a cricket buff but he has delegated the business of betting to his brother Anis and mobster Shakeel who is second on the wanted list of absconders in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case. Firoz (35) was once the driver of Zahid Ghulam Hassan Mir, a Shakeel confidant murdered some years ago.
Contrary to belief, only 60 per cent of the bookies in certain key cities of the country have direct connection with Dubai-based syndicate run by Anis-Shakeel duo. Betting is still proliferating in Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur and some other semi-metro cities. Mumbai's western suburbs like Malad, Kandivali and Borivali (in west) and Ghatkopar, Mulund and Chembur (in east) with Kalachowki in the heart of the Island city of Bombay are still powerful hubs of roaring betting business. These dens are beyond Dawood's shadow.
Intelligence sources and Mumbai CB agents say Dawood's "vice-like" grip on his once-unchallenged cricket betting empire has loosened since 2004 after Sharad Shetty was gunned down by rival Chota Rajan shooters in Dubai. Shetty had been the most trusted extortionist who operated betting syndicate since the era of now discontinued Sharjah tournament where India and Pakistan were two "fixed" participants. Four killers of Shetty were executed by Dubai in October 2004. Rajan failed miserably to make inroads into the betting business. Following the irreparable loss of Shetty Dawood in steps outsourced the betting business to brother Anis and Shakeel. (The Statesman).