Court orders fraud case against Kerala lottery dealer

Saturday, November 6, 2010

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM - A court here Saturday directed Kerala Police to register a case of cheating against lottery wholesaler Santiago Martin and his associate John Kennedy.

Judicial First Class Magistrate A.M. Basheer asked police to register a case following a complaint by Isahak, a lottery ticket buyer.

The complainant said he purchased tickets of Bhutan Lottery Aug 30 but there was no secret code, seal or the date of draw on the tickets.

The court asked police to file a case against Martin, who is the official wholesaler of Bhutan Lottery, and Kennedy, an official of Megha Distributors which is an agent for Bhutan Lottery in Kerala, and a local lottery agent in Thiruvananthapuram from whom Isahak purchased the ticket.

This will be the first police case to be registered against Martin in Kerala.

The opposition Congress in the state has been alleging the Left Democratic Front government’s links with the “lottery mafia” headed by Martin.

Martin faced tough questions a few years back after it was known that the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) newspaper Deshabhimani had accepted a fixed deposit from the lottery wholesaler.

Following a public outcry, the CPI-M took action against an official in the paper and also returned the money to Martin.

The Congress, too, faced flak in September when its national spokesperson and lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared in the Kerala High Court for Bhutan Lottery in a case against the Kerala government over tax issues.

–Indo Asian News Service

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