Monday, August 15, 2011

'Lottery king' Martin arrested in city on land-grab charges

CHENNAI/SALEM: The Tamil Nadu police arrested Santiago Martin, who faces charges in some states for selling illegal lottery tickets, on Saturday. The arrest in Chennai, however, was made on charges of land grabbing. Martin had come to the Chennai suburban police commissioner's office to sign a register as directed by the court in another landgrab case when he was picked up on Saturday.

The arrest was made on a complaint by VG Balaji of Salem, who accused the 'lottery king' of grabbing his 2,000 sqft land worth Rs 2 crore, the police said. Along with Martin, six others were arrested by a police team that had arrived from Salem. They were identified as S Benjamin of Coimbatore, who is Martin's brother-in-law, G Malarselvi of Chennai, V Rajeswari of Salem, V Vijitayoganandini of Ramanathapuram, C Babu of Salem and M Venkatesan of Salem. They were taken to the Kannankurichi police station in Salem, where they were questioned till 8.45pm. Later, investigation officer Kamaraj said, "All the accused were produced before Salem III judicial magistrate Muralidaran." Martin is the first big businessman to be arrested as part of the crackdown launched by the AIADMK government on land grabbing during the previous DMK regime.

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