Five arrests in Swedish tennis match-fixing investigation
The National Operations Department (NOA) carried out the arrests today (April 14) following an ongoing investigation by its anti- corruption group. The NOA also searched several homes.
The alleged match-fixing is said to involve substantial sums of money, though the amount was not revealed. The Swedish Police Authority previously condemned match-fixing as a “significant threat” to sport.
“We can see that all sports risk being affected by match-fixing, and we work intensively against this through, among other things, preventive efforts and collaboration at several different levels to access the problem,” says Stefan Erkensjö of NOA’s anti- corruption group.
The arrests follow a recent crackdown by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), which handles integrity issues in the sport, against betting and match-fixing offenses. The alerts that lead to ITIA investigations are typically provided by the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA).
Earlier this week, the ITIA handed a lifetime ban to Argentine player Franco Feitt after he admitted to nine counts of match- fixing.
The ITIA handed Slovakian player Barbora Palcatova a three-year ban in early April after she was found guilty of match-fixing. She was the tenth player the ITIA banned this year.
Source: 14 April 2021, iGB Table Tennis
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Franco Feitt banned from tennis for life
The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has today confirmed that 28 years old Argentinian tennis player Franco Feitt has been banned for life from the sport after admitting to multiple instances of match fixing between 2014 and 2018.
The case was considered by Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer Raj Parker who ruled that as of 12 April 2021, Feitt is permanently prohibited from playing in or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis. In addition, he has received a fine of $25,000.
Feitt, who had a highest ATP singles ranking of 920 and highest doubles ranking of 437 admitted to multiple breaches of the following clauses of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program rules
Five breaches of section D.1.b “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any event.”
Three breaches of section D.1.e “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any event.”
One breach of section D.2.a.i “In the event any Player is approached by any person who requests the Player to (i) influence the outcome or any other aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Player’s obligation to report such incident to the ITIA as soon as possible, even if no money, benefit or Consideration is offered or discussed.”
The International Tennis Integrity Agency is an independent body established by the International Governing Bodies of Tennis to promote, encourage, enhance and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.
Source: 13 April 2021, ITIA Tennis
Proceedings opened against Russian match official
Following an investigation conducted by the UEFA Ethics and Disciplinary Inspectors, disciplinary proceedings were opened against Mr. Sergey Lapochkin for an alleged violation of Article 11(2)(a) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations (DR) and Articles 12(2)(a) and (d) DR.
In accordance with Article 49 DR, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body (CEDB) decided on 25 March 2021 to provisionally ban Mr. Lapochkin from exercising any football-related activity with immediate effect for a duration of 90 days.
Further information about this case will be made available once the CEDB has taken a decision on the merits in due course.
Source: 15 April 2021, UEFA Football
Lokuhettige banned for eight years under ICC Anti-Corruption Code
Sri Lanka's Dilhara Lokuhettige has been banned from all cricket for eight years under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
Former Sri Lanka player Dilhara Lokuhettige has been banned from all cricket for eight years after an ICC Anti-Corruption Tribunal found him guilty of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
The ban for Mr Lokuhettige is backdated to 3 April 2019, when he was provisionally suspended.
As previously announced, following full hearings and presentations of written and oral argument, the Tribunal found Mr Lokuhettige guilty of:
Article 2.1.1 – for being party to an agreement or effort to fix or contrive or otherwise influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or other aspect(s) of a match.
Article 2.1.4 – Directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any Participant to breach Code Article 2.1.
Article 2.4.4 - Failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code.
Mr Lokuhettige has also been charged by the ICC on behalf of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) with breaching three counts of the ECB Anti-Corruption Code for Participants for the T10 League and these proceedings are ongoing.
Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Integrity Unit, said: “Having represented Sri Lanka in international cricket, Dilhara had attended a number of anti-corruption education sessions and would have known his actions were a breach of the Code.
“The severity of the sanction reflects the seriousness of his offences and his continued refusal to cooperate and should serve as a deterrent for anyone considering getting involved in corruption of any kind.”
The decision on the sanction (which has been redacted to protect the identities of the ICC’s witnesses and other third parties) is available here.
An earlier media release on Lokuhettige being found guilty is available here.
Source: 19 April 2021, ICC Cricket
United Arab Emirates
Qadeer banned for five years under ICC Anti-Corruption Code
United Arab Emirates player Qadeer Ahmed Khan has been banned from all cricket for five years after admitting breaching six counts of the ICC Anti-Corruption Code for which he was charged in October 2019.
Mehardeep Chhayakar charged with six counts of breaching ICC Anti-Corruption Code Mr Khan admitted to being in breach of the following provisions under the Code:
Breach of Article 2.4.4 – failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in conduct that would amount to Corrupt Conduct under the Code in relation to the Zimbabwe v UAE series in April 2019.
Breach of Article 2.3.2 – disclosing Inside Information in August 2019 in circumstances where he knew or should have known that the information might be used for betting purposes.
Breach of Article 2.4.4 – failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in conduct that would amount to Corrupt Conduct under the Code in relation to the Netherlands v UAE series in August 2019.
Breach of Article 2.4.5 – failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any facts or matters that came to his attention that may evidence Corrupt Conduct under the Code by another Participant.
Breach of Article 2.4.6 – failing or refusing to cooperate with an investigation being carried out by the ACU in relation to possible Corrupt Conduct under the Code.
Breach of Article 2.4.7 – obstructing or delaying an ACU investigation including by concealing information that may be relevant to that investigation.
Mr Khan’s period of ineligibility has been backdated to 16 October 2019, when he was provisionally suspended.
The decision on sanctions (which has been redacted to protect the identities of the ICC’s witnesses and other third parties) is available here.
Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Integrity Unit, said: “Qadeer Khan is an experienced international cricketer who has received anti-corruption training. He should have avoided the people he knew were corrupt and reported any suspicions immediately.
“He has accepted he did wrong and requested an agreed sanction in place of a Tribunal. His five-year period of ineligibility is a reflection of the seriousness of his breaches and the number of charges.
He has accepted responsibility for his actions and expressed regret for those he has let down.” Mehardeep Chhayakar charged with six counts of breaching ICC Anti-Corruption Code
Meanwhile, also in the UAE, the ICC has charged Mehardeep Chhayakar, who has played domestic cricket in Ajman (UAE) with six counts of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
The ICC laid the charges on its own behalf as well as on behalf of Cricket Canada as its Designated Anti-Corruption Official for the purposes of the Global T20 2019.
These charges are supplemental to charges of 16 October 2019, the media release for which is available here.
Breach of Article 2.1.1 – Attempting to contrive to fix aspects of the Zimbabwe v UAE series in April 2019, or being party to an effort to try and fix aspects of the Zimbabwe series.
Breach of Article 2.1.4 – Seeking to entice, induce and/or solicit a Participant to get involved in an effort to fix aspects of matches in the Zimbabwe v UAE series in April 2019.
Breach of Article 2.1.1 – Attempting to contrive to fix aspects of matches in the GT20 in 2019 or being party to an effort to try and fix aspects of matches in the GT20 event.
Breach of Article 2.1.4 – Seeking to entice, induce and/or solicit a to get involved in an effort to fix aspects of matches in the GT20 event.
Breach of Article 2.4.6 – Failing or refusing to cooperate with an ACU investigation, without compelling justification.
Breach of Article 2.4.7 – obstructing an ongoing ACU investigation through a failure to attend an interview or interviews with the ACU.
Mr Chhayakar has 14 days from 15 April 2021 to respond to the charges. The ICC will not make any further comment in respect of these charges at this stage.
The ICC Anti-Corruption Code can be found here.
Source: 21 April 2021, ICC Cricket
Heath Streak banned for eight years under ICC Anti-Corruption Code
Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak has been banned from all cricket for eight years after he accepted five charges of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
Mr. Streak was charged as a participant under the Code by virtue of his status as the coach of Zimbabwe from 2016 to 2018 and as the coach of various domestic teams. The charges are as follows:
- – disclosing inside information under both the ICC Code and various domestic Codes, in circumstances where he knew or should have known that such information may be used for betting purposes. In particular, he disclosed inside information in relation to matches in the 2018 Tri-Series involving Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the Zimbabwe v Afghanistan series in 2018, the IPL 2018 and the APL 2018.
- – directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any participant to breach the Code. In particular, he facilitated or attempted to facilitate the introduction of four different players, including a national captain, to someone he knew, or should have known, may have wanted to approach them to provide inside information for betting purposes.
2.4.2 – Failing to disclose the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit that the participant knew or should have known was given to them to procure a breach of the Code or that was made or given in circumstances that could bring the participant or the sport of cricket into disrepute.
2.4.4 - Failing to disclose to the ACU full details of any approaches or invitations received to engage in corrupt conduct under the Code including in relation to international matches, matches in the 2017 BPL, the 2018 Pakistan Super League, the 2018 IPL and the 2018 APL.
Article 2.4.7 – obstructing or delaying an investigation, including concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and / or that may be evidence of or may lead to the discovery of evidence of corrupt conduct under the ICC Anti-Corruption Code.
Under the provisions of the Code, Mr. Streak chose to admit the charges and agreed the sanction with the ICC in lieu of an Anti- Corruption Tribunal hearing. He will be free to resume his involvement in the game on 28 March 2029.
Alex Marshall, ICC General Manager – Integrity Unit, said: “Heath Streak is an experienced former international cricketer and national team coach, who had participated in numerous anti-corruption education sessions and was fully aware of his responsibilities under the Code.
“As a former captain and coach, he held a position of trust and owed a duty to uphold the integrity of the game. He breached the Code on several occasions, including facilitating the approach of four other players. At times, he also sought to obstruct and delay our investigation.
“The offences did not affect the outcomes of any relevant matches and Mr Streak has agreed to assist the ICC anti-corruption education programme for which we are grateful. He has also expressed his remorse and contrition and entered this agreed sanction decision to avoid the need for a full disciplinary process. The sanction reflects this cooperation.”
The decision on sanctions (which has been redacted to protect the identities of the ICC’s witnesses and other third parties) is available here.
Source: 14 April 2021, ICC Cricket
GLMS MONITORING AND INTELLIGENCE 2021 Q1 REPORT
GLMS is pleased to share our 2021 Q1 Monitoring & Intelligence Report, in which you will find key facts and figures from GLMS' monitoring and intelligence work over the first 3 months of 2021, in the service of its members and for sport. We have also explained some trends and how we generate green alerts.
The report also includes our main highlights in sport integrity at the start of the year, amid COVID-19, namely project activities with the Macolin Convention, as well as the launch of our latest partner project, Integrisport Next, and education webinars organized by our collective founding members, European Lotteries and the World Lottery Association. We also share some highlights from our members and showcase our supplier associate members - Intralot, Scientific Games Digital, IGT and Sporting Solutions, who also answered the question of the quarter: As we end the first quarter of 2021 recognizing one year of this historic pandemic, what measures have you taken to bounce back in your work with lotteries and what have you experienced with these measures?
Source: 23 April 2021, GLMS All Sports
Swedish police warn gambling under “highest threat” from money laundering
The report, which was compiled from findings by Sweden’s Coordination Function Against Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing group, organised by the police authority, said gambling businesses are often unknowingly “at risk” of money laundering exploitation.
Gambling at state-owned casinos and online gambling were highlighted as areas where the risk was especially high.
Although Sweden’s Gaming Act prohibits transfers between gaming accounts, the report warned that money can be transferred in other ways – for example, deliberate poker losses.
The group also found evidence to suggest that gambling accounts are being used for terrorist financing.
To counter money laundering, the report called for a change in the country’s Gambling Act on account and safe deposit box systems to include gambling companies. Currently, authorities have the power to quickly identify those who hold bank accounts and safe deposit boxes when money laundering is suspected, but cannot do this for gambling accounts.
The report also recommends periodic reporting from operators to the Swedish Gaming Inspectorate in order to curb money laundering potential and increase supervision.
In March, a report from Sweden’s Financial Police revealed that 700 incidents of money laundering were flagged in 2020. Last week Sweden’s National Operations Department arrested five people in a match-fixing bust in Stockholm.
This month the Swedish government proposed an extension on the country’s novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions for its gambling industry, including a SEK5,000 (£423/€492/$590) monthly deposit limit for online casino games.
Source: 21 April 2021, iGB All Sports
Zlatan Ibrahimovic reportedly facing three-year football ban for gambling company stake
Sweden and AC Milan footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be handed a three-year ban by FIFA following his involvement with a Maltese gambling company.
According to reports from the Swedish paper Aftonbladet, the player may have breached rules due to his involvement with the Maltese gambling brand Bethard.
Ibrahimovic’s Swedish company, Unknown AB, owns 10% of shares in Bethard, which breaches rules set out by FIFA.
It is believed Unknown AB is the fourth-largest stakeholder in the operator, and that it made a post-tax profit of £25.8m ($35.5m) in 2019.
Now Ibrahimovic could face a fine worth millions and be suspended from football for three years, the reports claim.
FIFA rules state players that feature in FIFA and UEFA competitions cannot have financial ties with gambling companies. With his recent return to the national side, Ibrahimovi would also be under scrutiny from the Swedish Football Association.
The player’s involvement with Bethard has been publicly known for three years by the Swedish Association, as he was announced as the ambassador and co-owner of Bethard in 2018.
In regard to the announcement three years ago the Swedish Football Association general secretary, Hakan Sjostrand, said: "According to FIFA's regulations and code of ethics, no player may directly or indirectly own shares in betting companies.”
Sjostrand was asked for a follow-up on the latest proceedings but said: “I do not speculate on possible sanctions."
Source: 15 April 2021, Gambling Insider Football
Bitcoin transaction is a new phenomenon in match-fixing: ICC integrity head Alex Marshall
Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak's shocking admission of cricket corruption has also shone a light on cryptocurrency finding a place in the bookies' list of enticements -- a brand new challenge for the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit, which claims to be ready for the battle.
Streak was on Wednesday banned by the ICC for eight years after admitting to disclose inside information to a suspected Indian bookie during his coaching stints in Zimbabwe, Bangladesh as well as the IPL, Afghanistan Premier League and the Bangladesh Premier League.
Till date cash has been the most preferred mode of payment for bookies, who also pay in kind with cars, jewellery and high-end phones. However, Streak's case has thrown up the use of bitcoin in corrupt payments. The ICC's detailed judgement in the case has revealed that Streak once received two "bitcoins" from a corruptor in 2018, valued at USD 35,000 at that time.
"It is a new phenomenon for us, but we have staff capable of investigating it. Corrupters try to use all modes including cash and 'hawala', which are not easy to trace either. Bitcoins pose a similar challenge," ICC ACU General Manager Alex Marshall said in an email reply to PTI's query on Thursday.
So what is cryptocurrency? In layman's language, 'Cryptocurrency' is virtual money. It is the purchase of a digital asset based on an algorithm.
The bitcoins that are generated aren't regulated by any central banking authority in any country (like the Reserve Bank of India) and in many countries like India, it is still an illegal tender. In simpler words, it is a "Blockchain Industry" where a financial transaction between two people sitting in two different parts of the world will not have any intermediaries.
The valuation of one bitcoin is staggering. One bitcoin's INR value currently stands at Rs 46.83 lakh or USD 62,453. However, the bigger challenge is that coding of "cryptocurrency" is believed to be watertight. There are elaborately programmed vaults (digital) and the tracking can be infinitely more difficult when compared to paper tenders like INR, USD or GBP.
Marshall said that ICC is up for the challenge in the coming days now that a new method of corruption has emerged. "Tracking bitcoin transactions may not be easy but we have the right people with the right expertise, understanding and network needed to ensure we stay ahead of the corruptors," Marshall said.
Even BCCI's new head of Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) Shabbir Hussain Shekhadam Khandwawala said that he heard of payment through bitcoins for the first time.
"Yes, I was going through the details of the Heath Streak case. I have also heard about bitcoin transaction for the first time," the former DGP of Gujarat Police told PTI.
However, Hussain feels that tracking of corrupt people is not always about the keeping a vigil on the mode of transactions. "We always catch the people not by the amount or how the money is paid (bitcoins in this case). Our clues are different. We keep a watch on them and their activities and telephonic calls," Hussain said.
"Some things happen underground also," he said, adding "Everything has to be on the basis of the solid information received from sources. "So if someone has accepted money or been involved in graft in any form, once you start investigation, you are able to reach that," he said.
He, in fact, played down the prospect of cryptocurrency gaining ground in the world of cricket corruption. "...well it's fine for the person in question to keep his money safely. It is like safe parking of money where no one can see it. But does it come in the way of investigation of this case? Perhaps not."
"I still don't think it will become a trend and even those indulging in such activities will always leave a trail," Hussain concluded.
Source: 15 April 2021, Times Now News Cricket