Weekly integrity in sport update from INTERPOL 30 November 2015 - 6 December 2015

In the current Weekly Media Recap, we see the match-fixing suspect Dan Tan being re-arrested by the Singaporean authorities for suspected involvement in criminal activities, after the Court of Appeal ordered his release from previous detention.

Another investigation being reported in Greece related to prosecutors taking bribes, who were involved in the decision not to prosecute Olympiacos.

 

CURRENT INVESTIGATION

Greece

The Greek public prosecutors who decided not to pursue charges against Olympiacos in the so-called Koriopolis match-fixing scandal have been accused of accepting bribes. The mayor of Volos and owner of Olympiacos Volou, Achilleas Beos – who is one of 85 defendants in the trial alleges that Panagiotis Pouliou, a deputy public prosecutor, and Giannis Tzimplakis, who chaired the three-man panel of judges that determined who should be prosecuted, accepted bribes. Beos claims that the purpose of the bribes, paid, he says, by a member of the Panathinaikos board, was to ensure Evangelos Marinakis would not be prosecuted in the trial. Marinakis is the owner of Panathinaikos’ Athens’ rivals Olympiacos. Despite figuring prominently in the files of evidence, he was not formally charged. Beos claimed there were “significant suspicions of events that can reasonably and clearly… justify a bias in favour of one of my co-defendants, who [was] eventually acquitted.” He added: “Under Article 237 Penal Code, if anyone who is called by law to perform judicial functions … requested or obtained, directly or through a third party, for himself or for another, any kind of unfair benefit for action or omission, in future or already completed, relating to the execution of their duties in the administration of justice or to resolve a dispute, shall be punished with imprisonment and a fine of EUR 15000-150000.” Pouliou and Tzimplakis have not commented on Beos’s claim. There have been unconfirmed reports in Greece that the prosecutor of the Athens Supreme Court, Efterpi Koutzamani, has opened an investigation into the case following Beos’s allegations. The Koriopolis trial is currently scheduled to take place in April 2016.

Source: AP, "Judges accused of taking bribes in Greek match-fixing scandal", 2 December 2015, World Soccer, https://www.worldsoccer.com/news/judges-accused-of-taking-bribes-in-greek-match-fixing-scandal-366178

Singapore

A decision will be made, one way or another, on what is to be done with him. Described by Interpol as "the leader of the world's most notorious match-fixing syndicate", he has been linked to match- fixing across Europe, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, Turkey and Trinidad and Tobago. In a post on Facebook, he also said: "Some media reports had inaccurately given the impression that the re-arrest goes against the judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal". However, police issued a terse statement late Tuesday confirming Tan had been rearrested six days after he was freed "for investigations into suspected involvement in criminal activities". "If Singaporean law doesn't fit a modern world, Singapore must fix it now so that it does, just like Dan Tan fixed football matches". He was held under a law that allows for indefinite detention without trial if it's in the interest of public safety, but the Singapore Court of Appeal on November 25 ruled that public safety was not at risk and ordered Tan's release. Fifa, football's world governing body, said at the time it was disappointed with the decision. Delighted with the arrest, Eaton tweeted on Tuesday: "I hope Dan Tan will be dealt with public investigation & court processes so the realities of the case are open to global scrutiny". Responding to a question during the press conference on whether global pressure played a part in Tan's re-arrest, Mr Shanmugam said: "We don't arrest or release people based on worldwide pressure". The court had ruled last week that Tan's detention under the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act, commonly known as the CLTPA, could not be justified as the grounds for holding him - leading and funding a global match-fixing syndicate - did not comply with the requirements of the Act.

Source: Rudy Delgado, "Police arrest Dan Tan for investigations", 3 December 2015, Observer Voice, https://observervoice.com/2015/12/police-arrest-dan-tan-for-investigations/

ILLEGAL BETTING

Bangladesh

Four suspected bookmakers have been thrown out of stadiums during the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) as part of a concerted initiative to ensure a corruption-free event, a tournament official said on Thursday (December 3). Ismail Haider Mallick, the BPL secretary, said anti-corruption officials had spotted the four whom they suspected of placing bets on behalf of clients during matches, which is illegal in Bangladesh. “We don’t have the law to put them behind bars so we opted to throw them out (of the grounds),” said Mallick without revealing the identities of the four. The BPL resumed in November this year after its 2013 edition was blighted by a match-fixing scandal involving players and team owners. An embarrassed Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) cancelled last year’s edition but decided to bring it back after doing what they felt was enough to promise a clean event.

Source: AP, "Four suspected bookies ejected from BPL", 3 December 2015, Wisden India, https://www.wisdenindia.com/cricket-news/suspected-bookies-ejected-bpl/190131

 

LEGISLATION

India

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has said that there are certain provisions in the Indian Penal Code to deal with match fixing and spot fixing in sports. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today the Minister said, Government has felt the need to enact a standalone legislation to further strengthen the legal provisions to prevent and combat sporting frauds, affecting the integrity of sports and fair play, like match fixing, deliberate under-performance, etc. Accordingly, Government has formulated a draft legislation named “Prevention of Sports Fraud Bill, 2015”. The Draft Bill, in its present form, inter-alia, defines Sports Frauds in sports events, contains provisions of penalty to the offenders and deals with the issue of Jurisdiction of Courts to adjudicate the matter, etc.

Source: AP, "Law to make Spot Fixing and Match Fixing Criminal Offences is coming", 3 December 2015, Live Law, https://www.livelaw.in/law-to-make-spot-fixing-and-match-fixing-criminal-offences-is-coming/

 

ODDS AND ENDS

South Africa

HORSERACING continues to prove popular with the betting public. Figures show the sport attracted revenue of R1.9bn last year, bettering the R1.6bn of the sports betting market. Nevertheless, sports betting probably due to the World Cup in Brazil showed a 57.6% increase on 2013. Betting on soccer pools is another important factor in the increase. Casinos continue to dominate in gross revenue, with the 17 casinos bringing in R17.2bn last year 72% of the country’s gross gambling revenue.

Source: David Mollett, "Horseracing beats sports in betting", 3 December 2015, Business Day BDlive, https://www.bdlive.co.za/sport/othersport/2015/12/03/horseracing-beats-sports-in-betting

 

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur: The Asian Football Confederation has imposed lifetime bans for match-fixing on four players and an official in Nepal and a Tajik referee. “These cases show that the AFC’s strategy against match-fixing is delivering concrete results,” the regional body said in a statement late Friday, adding that it has “a zero tolerance to match-manipulation”. Nepali official Anjan K.C. and the four players — Bikash Singh Chhetri, Sandip Rai, Ritesh Thapa and Sagar Thapa — were found guilty of offences relating to various friendly internationals during the period 2008-2012. Tajik referee Murtazoev Parviz was found guilty of conspiring to influence the result of an October 6, 2015 match between the Maldives and Tajikistan in the AFC U-19 Championship. Parviz, who was the game’s appointed referee liaison officer, attempted to corrupt the match referee who reported the offence. All six had been provisionally banned by the regional governing body’s disciplinary committee in October. (AFP)

Source: AP, "Life bans for Asian football players and referee", 5 December 2015, Gulf News, https://gulfnews.com/sport/football/more-football/life-bans-for-asian-football-players-and-referee-1.1631768

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