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UPDATE: 3 make bond in commercial gambling case

Three people arrested Monday on commercial gambling accusations have made bond, Muscogee County Jail records state.

Kinnariben Shah and Viraj Shah, both 39, and Kikunjkumar Patel, 26, were arrested Monday morning after Columbus police descended on two stores with search warrants. Officers found 15 illegal gambling machines between the Steam Mill Food Mart, where the Shahs worked, and at Sunny's Food Mart, where Patel is employed.

“We anticipate more arrests in the case,” Capt. Gil Slouchick said.

All three face charges of commercial gambling, keeping a place of gambling, possession of tools during the commission of a crime and communicating gambling information. They each made their $8,500 bonds the day of their arrest, records state.

The investigation into the stores stemmed from several complaints police have received. Slouchick’s unit then began an undercover investigation.

“The machines were in the business, open in the business,” Slouchick said. “We got bills out of the machines — ones, fives, tens and twenties.”

It appeared that no one was restricted from accessing the machines. After playing, winners would collect their money from the front counter, Slouchick said.

The machines are now stored in a police evidence room, he added.

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