Among the busiest streets in Mumbai, Oshiwara flashed in the headlines a couple of days back. The Mumbai Police crime branch on Thursday stormed into a flat and detained one person for allegedly managing a ‘gambling den’ along with 16 other participants playing on two tables. The police found INR 91,000 in cash along with 2,120 poker chips.
The Mumbai Police arrested Monish Pushp Kumar Paleza who rented a 600 square feet flat in Samartha Aishwarya building in Adarsh Nagar, Oshiwara for INR 10,000 per day. The police also reported that Paleza has been running the entire thing for over 6 months now, and INR 35.33 Lakhs worth poker chips from the participants of the game were discovered.
The Senior Inspector of Social Service Branch (SSB), Sandesh Rewale said that “There have been crackdowns on prostitution rackets in areas like Oshiwara, Versova and Juhu. We also got input about an illegal gambling den in a residential complex, following which we laid a trap on Thursday night and found 16 people playing poker on two tables.”
Poker, a game of skill, gained prominence in the country over the last decade or so. With a spurting growth of the mind sport, there have been several legal setbacks, questioning its lawful existence in a few states including Gujarat, Assam, Orrisa, Nagaland and so on. Here, Rewale stated that “Most agents run gambling dens in residential places, hence it is difficult to get specific information.”
Back in 2015, the SSB busted in a Lokhandwala flat in Oshiwara on 6 August and seized INR 38,550 cash from a woman running a gambling den along with seven other men who were also found at the spot. Another major news that caught the public attention was in 2019 when the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police busted in Mumbai’s significant business district, Cuffe Parade in Minu Minor building where police arrested 46-year-old, Lalit Jain. As much as INR 2.74 Lakhs in cash and 1000 plastic coins mentioning 50 to 25,000 and 21 sets of cards were captured from the location. The case was further registered under Section 4 and 5 of the Gambling Act.
However, in this case, the 32-year-old Paleza had been maintaining a record of his customers in his diary that the police recovered from the spot. Although there haven’t been any further notifications, the police will be looking into the matter. For more updates on poker news and industry around the world, keep following GutshotMagazine.com and stay tuned!
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