Police in Bengaluru have busted a tech-savvy gambling gang that could have possibly drawn inspiration from Mr Q of James Bond movies. The gambling ring busted by Yeshwanthpur Police used special contact lenses and micro-chips to scan their opponent’s cards and win every game.
This is the second such case that cops have busted in the past two years. In 2020, Imran bin Ismail, a resident of RT Nagar in the city, was arrested by the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch after being accused of illegally earning money by fixing a hidden camera in playing cards.
Bengaluru police, over the years, have cast a larger net to trap the city’s gambling cartels but the use of high-end technology has left investigators amazed every time a major ring is busted.
A week ago, police arrested Mahantesh and Ramesh who seem to have emulated Imran’s ploy. They too were found to be gambling using plain cards that were embedded with a QR code. There was also a special nano-chip that allowed the gamblers to detect the card their opponents had and play the winning hand.
During interrogation, the duo revealed how they used a special set of contact lenses to scan the QR code on the cards and repeatedly defeat other players.
To a common person, the deck of cards recovered from the scammers would look normal. However, they have been carefully altered. A lightweight nano-chip card is inserted and a special QR code hidden in the print of the playing card.
Each card had an invisible quick response (QR) code and the gamblers would wear a special lens in one of their eyes so that it could scan the codes to detect the type of card in the hand of the other players on the table and make the right moves to win the game.
Before a game, the gamblers involved in this technology racket would also set up spy cameras across the room that would give them information on other games being played alongside. They would go up to those tables and try to win those games based on the feedback relayed by the cameras through an earpiece.
“To understand this technology, we asked the accused to play a game with us. They are discreet and smooth operators because of which people are easily fooled and lose the game,” said an officer who requested anonymity.
The high-quality lenses used by these gamblers are available online, say police. The manufacturers and distributors of these devices have been traced to Delhi and Rajkot.
The police are now trying to see if they can establish a link between the earlier accused Imran and the recent gang that was busted as their modus operandi was identical.
“Imran had also been in the business of inserting cameras inside cards and selling them to high-profile customers or other gamblers,” said a police officer who has been trying to crack the link between such hi-tech gangs.
These gamblers would often use their equipment to play card games like ‘Andar Bahar’, ‘Teen Patti’, ‘Maang Patta’, ‘Flash’, ‘Rummy’ and ‘Black Jack’.
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