Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Underworld death threats for IPL boss

The IPL's South African security firm have stepped up their protection of tournament chairman Lalit Modi after reports surfaced in the Indian media of an alleged death threat from the Indian underworld.
CRICKET IPL Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi - 0

According to the media reports, an aide of wanted Indian criminal Dawood Ibrahim has targetted Modi for a variety of reasons, including Modi's refusal to pay an unspecified extortion amount, shutting the door on Pakistan players in the tournament and shifting the IPL to South Africa.

The tournament's change of location could reportedly cost the gang - commonly referred to as D-Company - millions of dollars in re-organising their betting operations.

Bob Nicholls, who jointly heads security outfit Nicholls & Steyn, said the agency has moved to tackle the threat to Modi.

"We are aware of it and we have taken the necessary precautions... I'm not going into any details," Nicholls said of the threats to Modi's life. Local police have reportedly increased the security cover for Modi's Mumbai residence.

The Times of India reported that Modi's name figured on a hitlist issued by Chhota Shakeel, Ibrahim's aide, which was revealed to police officials after they arrested a gang-member in Karnataka last month.

But Mid-Day, a Mumbai-based tabloid, reported that security agencies had intercepted a phone call from the gang, the transcript of which shows that orders have been issued to target Modi either in India or South Africa during the IPL.

A copy of the intelligence report which highlights the threat was forwarded to Mumbai police commissioner's office on March 24, according to the paper.

Modi himself refused to comment on the issue.

Nicholls & Steyn have been entrusted with managing the IPL's security in South Africa, and Nicholls had said last week that the lack of time, the crime rate in South African cities and the elections in the country on April 22 were some of their main challenges.

[credit : http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/14042009/58/underworld-death-threats-ipl-boss.html]

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