INTERPOL: Integrity in sport - bi-weekly bulletin - 7-20 September

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INVESTIGATIONS

Belgium

Belgian police to investigate possible basketball fraud case

BRUSSELS (AP) — The Belgian basketball federation has asked the country’s federal police to investigate a possible fraud case related to the organization of 3x3 tournaments in the runup to the Tokyo Olympics.

Following discussions with the local Wallonia and Flanders federations, Basketball Belgium said in a statement on Tuesday that it contacted a police unit specialized in sports fraud to conduct a “thorough investigation.”

The federation said a disciplinary inquiry was being carried out by Basketball Flanders in addition to a criminal complaint.

De Standaard newspaper reported last month that fake 3x3 basketball tournaments were set up in Belgium from August to October 2019 in a bid to allow the Belgium team to collect the necessary points to be able to take part in qualifying for the Olympic Games.

However, the Belgian federation said it does not have enough information at this stage to suspend players. The 3x3 team made up of Thibaut Vervoort, Rafael Bogaerts, Thierry Marien and Nick Celis finished fourth at the Olympics.

Basketball Belgium said the team will compete “without any change in its composition” at the European 3x3 Championship later

Germany

“Not with us!” FC Energie Cottbus reports match-fixing offers to several players

The erstwhile Bundesliga club from East Germany did the right thing when several of its players were offered money to throw a cup match in Brandenburg.

FC Energie Cottbus made headlines in Germany on Saturday when the club reported that several of its players had been approached with offers of money to throw their upcoming cup match against Ludwigsfelder FC. The club described the incident in a firm statement titled “Nicht mit uns!”—that is, “Not with us!” (FC Energie Cottbus)

In the past few days, several players of FC Energie Cottbus received offers for manipulating the match at Ludwigsfelder FC in the AOK-Landespokal Brandenburg [editor: i.e. the cup for the state of Brandenburg]. Large sums of money were offered if the game should take the desired course.

The players, however, “immediately informed the club of these dubious offers” and Energie duly informed the state soccer federation of Brandenburg and made the incident public in agreement with the federation and Ludwigsfelder FC.

The club concluded,

FC Energie firmly distances itself from any and all types of game manipulation, declares in no uncertain terms, “Not with us,” and will make all the information available to the appropriate investigative authorities so that they may pursue criminal charges.

Respekt!

Energie proceeded to win their match against Ludwigsfelder 2-0 and advanced to the third round of the AOK-Landespokal

Brandenburg.
Source: 7 September 2021, Bavarian Football Works https://www.bavarianfootballworks.com/2021/9/5/22657272/fair-play-fc-energie-cottbus-match-fixing-brandenburg-ludwigsfelder-bribery-bayern-munich

India

TTFI forms inquiry panel to probe Manika’s ‘match-fixing’ allegations against Soumyadeep Roy

Star player had alleged that Roy, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, had asked her to throw a match during Olympic qualifiers in March and that is one of the reasons why she did not take his help during her singles campaign at Tokyo Olympics.

New Delhi, September 11

Table Tennis Federation of India on Saturday formed a five-member inquiry panel to probe star player Manika Batra’s match- fixing allegations against national coach Soumyadeep Roy.

TTFI vice president Chiranjib Choudhuri has been named the chairman of the inquiry panel which has to submit its report within six weeks. Janendra Jain and Parth Goswami are the two lawyers in the panel while Yashpal Rana is the other member.

The decision was taken at TTFI’s executive meeting that took place virtually.

Manika had alleged that Roy, a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, had asked her to throw a match during the Olympic qualifiers in March and that is one of the reasons why she did not take his help during her singles campaign at Tokyo Olympics.

The Indian team for the upcoming Asian Table Tennis Championships in Doha will be announced on September 16, said TTFI secretary Arun Banerjee after the meeting.

He reiterated only those who have taken part in the ongoing national camp will be eligible for selection. Manika has not

reported for the camp so far. PTI
Source: 11 September 2021, Tribune India
Table Tennis https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/sports/ttfi-forms-inquiry-panel-to-probe-manikas-match-fixing-allegations-against-soumyadeep-roy-309811

Mali

FIBA statement regarding independent Integrity Officer report on allegations of systemic sexual harassment within the Mali Basketball Federation


Following several allegations of systemic sexual harassment within the Mali Basketball Federation (FMBB) received on June 10, the report of the independent Integrity Officer has been delivered to FIBA.

In addition to the suspension on June 14 of coach Amadou Bamba, coach Oumar Sissoko, official Hario Maiga and on July 23 of FMBB President Harouna Maiga, after carefully reviewing the document and following the recommendation of the Integrity Officer, FIBA will be issuing additional suspensions against three other members of the FMBB, pending the opening of disciplinary proceedings: coach Fanta Diallou, Secretary General Seydou Maiga and Vice President Amadou Traore. Further decisions will be taken in due course by the competent FIBA bodies.

FIBA confirms that the independent report does not provide any evidence that supports the allegations that FIBA President Hamane Niang knew or should have known about the sexual abuses in the Mali Basketball Federation.

Based on this conclusion, the FIBA President has issued the following statement: "This investigation is of paramount importance and I would like to express my personal and unconditional support to the victims. These offences must be duly prosecuted by FIBA through independent procedures. Since the Integrity Officer has confirmed my innocence, I will now resume my official duties with FIBA."

Since June, FIBA has taken numerous steps after receiving those allegations to immediately establish a safeguard and protection service for the players of the U19 and U16 women's teams from Mali. Below is a list of the activities that took place in the last three months as an emergency response to U19 and U16 female players' situation.

Recruitment of a local partner in Mali recognized for their true involvement in Human Rights.
Development of procedures to report safeguarding incidents.
Coordination with professional stakeholders for the protection of identified survivors and players, including the recruitment of a case manager and appointment of a psychologist and a law firm. Organization of psychosocial activities and educational discussion groups during the training camp for 29 players from the U19 and U16 female teams. Accompaniment and support of the players of the U19 and U16 women's teams during their trip to Hungary (FIBA U19Women's Basketball World Cup 2021) and in Egypt (FIBA U16 Women's African Championship). Establishment of protection services and support for survivors of abuse.

The following measures will be implemented in Mali in the months ahead, concerning Youth and Senior female players:

Continuation of the protection of survivors with regular follow-up.
Training of Officers, Volunteers (coaches, doctors, FMBB supervisors) on the protection and safeguarding of children and young athletes in the world of sport. Support for the FMBB for the establishment of a safeguarding procedure and the development of an action plan within it, aimed at ensuring the protection and safeguarding of players. Prevention and raising awareness activities on safeguarding, through recommendations for strengthening the safeguarding procedures in place for U16 and U19 female players and extending it to basketball players beyond Malian national teams. Organization of a national workshop bringing together sports players, Malian authorities in charge of sport, civil society organizations and key people to raise awareness about safeguarding in sports and carry out systematic advocacy on issues related to the protection of children in sports activities.

FIBA reiterates its firm position against harassment and abuse in basketball and extends its heartfelt compassion for victims of such conduct.

In addition, FIBA, together with its Players Commission and its partners, will launch a global players safeguarding initiative, which aims to educate and protect players from abuse in basketball. The initiative will be presented for approval by the Central Board in November 2021.

Until then, FIBA will make no further comment on this matter.
Source: 16 September 2021, FIBA
Basketball https://www.fiba.basketball/news/fiba-statement-regarding-independent-integrity-officer-report-on-allegations-of-systemic-sexual-harassment-within-the-mali- basketball-federation

SENTENCES/SANCTIONS

United Arab Emirates

Former UAE keeper Shabbir banned for four years

Sept 6 (Reuters) - Former United Arab Emirates (UAE) wicketkeeper Gulam Shabbir has been banned from all forms of cricket for four years after admitting breaching six counts of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) anti-corruption code, world cricket's governing body said on Monday.

Shabbir failed to disclose to the ICC anti-corruption unit "the full details of attempted approaches to engage in corrupt conduct" in relation to matches against Nepal and Zimbabwe between January and April 2019.

Others breaches include the failure to report an approach made to a team mate and refusing to surrender his mobile devices during investigation.

"(Shabbir) was expected to understand his responsibilities as an international cricketer. He attended at least three anti- corruption education sessions in which players were reminded of their obligations to report any approaches," said Alex Marshall, general manager for the ICC integrity unit.

"Although he was cooperative when interviewed and expressed remorse, it is only appropriate that he be banned so that a strong message goes out to other players and potential corrupters."

The 35-year-old Shabbir, who retired from international cricket in 2019, played 23 one-day internationals and 17 Twenty20 games for the UAE. Source: 7 September 2021, Reuters Cricket

LEGISLATION

Canada

Sport and Event Betting Integrity

4.32 Sport and event betting operators shall have risk management measures in place to mitigate the betting integrity risk associated with sport and event betting, including insider betting and event manipulation. (Also applicable to Gaming-Related Suppliers)

Requirements – At a minimum:

Operators shall establish controls to identify unusual or suspicious betting activity and report such activity to an independent integrity monitor.

Unusual betting activity is a betting pattern that deviates, including statistically, from the activity otherwise exhibited by patrons and reasonably expected by an operator or independent integrity monitor, which may indicate potential suspicious activity in the betting or the underlying sport or other event. Unusual betting activity may include the size of a patron’s wager or increased wagering volume on a particular event or wager type.

Suspicious betting activity is unusual betting activity that cannot be explained and is indicative of match fixing, the manipulation of an event, misuse of inside information, or other illicit activity.

Independent integrity monitors shall not have any perceived or real conflicts of interests in performing the independent integrity monitor role, including such as acting as an operator or as an oddsmaker.

Independent integrity monitors shall promptly disseminate reports of unusual betting activity to all member sport betting operators.

All sport and event betting operators shall review such reports and notify their independent integrity monitor of whether they have experienced similar activity.

If an independent integrity monitor finds that previously reported unusual betting activity rises to the level of suspicious activity, they shall immediately notify any entity with which they have an information sharing relationship, including independent integrity monitors, sport betting operators, the appropriate governing authority for the sport or event, and any other organizations or individuals identified by the Registrar.

All independent integrity monitors receiving such a report shall share such report with their member sport betting operators. Independent integrity monitors shall facilitate collaboration and information sharing to enable the investigation of and response to prohibited activity associated with the suspicious betting activity as directed by the Registrar. Independent integrity monitors shall provide, in accordance with the notification matrix, the Registrar with:

All reports of unusual betting activity;
If the activity was determined to be suspicious; and
The actions taken by the independent integrity monitor.

Guidance: The Registrar will publish a list of registered independent integrity monitors.

4.33 An operator receiving a report of suspicious activity under Standard 4.32 may suspend or cancel sport and event betting on events related to the report or withhold associated customer funds. To this end, an Operator must ensure that it has reserved itself the authority to suspend betting, void bets, and withhold associated customer funds. The Operator’s decision to suspend or cancel sport and event betting, or withhold associated customer funds, on events related to the report must be fair, reasonable, and made in good faith.

4.34 Operators offering sport and event betting products shall ensure that all bets offered meet the following criteria:

The outcome of the event being bet on can be documented and verified;
The outcome of the event being bet on can be generated by a reliable and independent process; The outcome of the event being bet on is not affected by any bet placed;

The majority of participants in the event or league are 18 years of age or older; event shall be broadly defined as assessing total participants in the event/league, rather than in a particular heat, game, match or final contest in the overall sporting event; For sporting events being bet on, the event must be effectively supervised by a sport governing body which must, at minimum, prescribe final rules and enforces codes of conduct that include prohibitions on betting by insiders (not applicable to novelty bets);

There are integrity safeguards in place which are sufficient to mitigate the risk of match-fixing, cheat-at-play, and other illicit activity that might influence the outcome of bet upon events;

The bet is not on a past event for which the outcome is publicly known;

The bet is not reasonably objectionable;

The event being bet on does not involve animal fighting or cruelty;

Bets on assets and financial markets (e.g., stocks, bonds, currencies, real property) are prohibited; Bets which expose players to losses greater than the amount wagered are prohibited;
Bets which mimic the structure of financial instruments, products, or markets are prohibited;
Bets on synthetic lottery products and bets on lottery outcomes are prohibited;

The event being bet on is conducted in conformity with all applicable laws;

Bets on minor league sports in Ontario, including the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), are prohibited. Source: 9 September 2021, Alcohol and Gaming Commission Ontario
https://www.agco.ca/sport-and-event-betting-integrity

BETTING

INTERPOL

Illegal gambling: Operation SOGA VIII leads to 1,400 arrests

LYON, France – While most of us were watching the UEFA European Football Championship as simple fans, hundreds of specialized officers across 28 countries were targeting organized crime groups looking to earn millions from illegal gambling and related money laundering activities.

INTERPOL’s Operation SOGA VIII (short for soccer gambling) led to thousands of raids and the arrest of some 1,400 suspects across Asia and Europe. Authorities seized USD 7.9 million in cash, as well as computers and mobile phones connected to nearly USD 465 million in bets.

Illegal gambling generates significant profits for organized crime networks and is often closely associated with other crimes such as money laundering and corruption. The operation was coordinated by INTERPOL’s Financial Crimes and Anti-Corruption units, with support from the Asia-Pacific Expert Group on Organized Crime (APEG) and the INTERPOL Match Fixing Task Force (IMFTF).

Hong Kong Police detained more than 800 suspects, including the alleged kingpin of a triad-controlled bookmaking syndicate, seizing nearly USD 2.7 million in cash and records detailing hundreds of millions in bets, making it one of their most successful operations against illegal gambling ever.
Hong Kong Police seized records detailing hundreds of millions in bets.

“Our collective experience helped us anticipate links between betting syndicates and their illegal counterparts during Euro 2020. This, ultimately, led us to organized crime groups acting on a global scale and generating huge profits,” said Wong Wai, Head of Hong Kong Police’s Organized Crime and Triad Bureau and Chairman of INTERPOL’s Asia-Pacific Expert Group on Organized Crime.

“Italian authorities carried out a nationwide operation during Euro 2020, resulting in the inspection of 280 betting shops and EUR 1.3 million in sanctions for illegal betting operations. Such international operations are key to the collective fight against illegal betting, but also in developing national and international cooperation frameworks,” said Roberto Ribaudo, Director of Economic and Financial Crime Division at INTERPOL’s National Central Bureau in Rome.

This year’s operation showed a clear shift to online activities, with criminals taking full advantage of financial technology, including the use of international gambling websites and online bank accounts.

Additionally, officers saw increased activity in online gaming platforms, forums and social media, where individuals would offer gambling tips or even payment to those willing to open online bank accounts for money transfers.

The operation was conducted under the aegis of Project Anti Cyber-Enabled Financial Crimes (CEFIN) funded by the Republic of Korea.

To date, INTERPOL’s eight SOGA operations have resulted in more than 19,100 arrests, seizures of more than USD 63 million in cash and the closure of more than 4,000 illegal gambling dens which handled more than USD 7.3 billion worth of bets.

Participating countries: Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belgium, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France,

Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Maldives, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Spain,

Switzerland, United Kingdom, Vietnam.
Source: 14 September 2021, INTERPOL https://www.interpol.int/News-and-Events/News/2021/Illegal-gambling-Operation-SOGA-VIII-leads-to-1-400-arrests

Malta

Malta-licensed gambling company founded on takings from 200,000 cyber scam victims – report

A Malta-licensed gaming company has been highlighted as potentially being linked to the illegal proceeds of one of the biggest- ever online financial scams, according to whistleblower website Fintelegram.com.

The island’s iGaming industry has been embroiled in one controversial scandal after another over the years. This latest allegation is no exception.

Bet90 Sports, a Malta registered and licensed gambling company with links to former MGA official Iosif Galea and accused financial criminal Brian Tonna’s firm Nexia BT, has come under the spotlight after reports detailing its potentially shady past and its links with those involved in corruption, crime, and money laundering.

But the story behind the company begins many years before.

In July 2020, a German citizen, Uwe Lenhoff, was found dead in his prison cell. No cause of death was ever given by the authorities. At the time of his death, he was facing charges for his alleged involvement in one of the largest ever online financial frauds.

This fraud involved a network of companies, brands and individuals operating illegal call centres, trading sites and betting sites throughout Europe. It’s reported they scammed at least 200,000 vulnerable and elderly people out of more than €200 million.

One whistleblower who told the German authorities all he knew about the scam was also found dead in Serbia just before he took the stand. The police said it was heart failure, but he was just 34 years old.

It’s alleged that the money made from the scams was laundered into networks of companies and other businesses worldwide. These were linked to those involved, including Lenhoff.

One corporate service provider who spoke to Balkan news portal BIRN said it was common for him and his colleagues to open companies for Lenhoff and his associates in their own names to disguise the real owners. The companies were then used to launder the money.

Before his death, Lenhoff co-founded a company called Veltyco. This holding company had many brands and other companies under its umbrella. These included those later found to be involved in the cybercrime scandal, including Option888, Xmarkets, LottoPalace, and TradoVest.

But one of these companies was Bet90 Sports Limited. A legitimate company, licensed and registered in Malta, that operates online gambling and betting services in line with the law.

However, concerns have been raised by those looking into the matter that funds from illegal sources and scams could have been pumped into Bet90, essentially using it as a money laundering vehicle.

After Lenhoff’s death, Veltyco, by this time a publicly traded company, was renamed B90 Holdings PLC. Bet90 also had a new director, Maltese citizen Iosif Galea.

Galea had worked as an officer at the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (which then became the Malta Gaming Authority) and was allegedly involved in the scandal that ended John Dalli’s reign as an EU Commissioner. Linked to the inner circles of the Labour Party, he was referred to as “Dalli’s henchman” by assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in 2015.

This was about him being under investigation by Italian anti-Mafia authorities for his involvement as a key official for Maltese companies involved in laundering the profits of ‘Ndrangheta mafia activities.

Galea was the director of a company, Betsolution4u, a company part-owned by GVM Holdings which was revealed to have provided Betuniq with fiduciary services to hide its criminal owners’ identities.

Marketing himself as a gambling consultant, he was, for unknown reasons, taken off the list of suspects. In fact, he is still considered a fit and proper person by the MGA. He is a key official, MLRO, compliance officer, and director of several licensed Malta gambling companies.

Even more interesting is that the now disgraced and defunct audit firm, Nexia BT, was the auditor for the firm. Brian Tonna from Nexia BT is currently being prosecuted for money laundering and falsifying documents.

Documents show Bet90 Sports was set up with funding from two companies, Winslet Enterprises and Payific, both of which are labelled as scams and being involved in money laundering. This would mean that Bet90 Sports is a legacy of the cybercrime past of Veltyco Group/B90 Holdings.

But Malta has also been attractive to other individuals allegedly involved in the cybercrime scam. Ilan Tzorya was also named one of the masterminds of the scam: he created the software called Tradlogic that was used by many of the sites involved in the illegal activity. He has since moved into cryptocurrency, establishing a company called Krypton Invest that has offices in Malta. He denies wrongdoing in the scam, saying he is no longer involved with the Tradlogic.

Questions sent to Iosif Galea last week remained unanswered.
Source: 8 September 2021, The Shift Team https://theshiftnews.com/2021/08/30/malta-licensed-gambling-company-founded-on-takings-from-200000-cyber-scam-victims-report/

ODDS AND ENDS

FIFA

FIFA and UNODC celebrate anniversary of partnership

FIFA and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 14 September 2020

The FIFA Global Integrity Programme (FGIP) has been delivered to the Integrity Officers from Member Associations of three confederations (AFC, CONMEBOL and Concacaf), with further editions planned for CAF, OFC and UEFA

The FGIP editions have been fully subscribed across all confederations

Since signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) one year ago, FIFA’s capacity to combat crime and corruption has grown.

The partnership facilitated the launch of a wide range of practical and specialised tools, initiatives and activities to safeguard football, and all working and participating in the sport, around the world.

Among the most notable moves toward securing a safer sport was the launch of the FIFA Global Integrity Programme, aimed at providing Integrity Officers within FIFA’s 211 member associations not only with a comprehensive, in-depth understanding of match manipulation and its devastating effects, but also with measures to tackle it effectively. Source: 14 September 2021, FIFA Football

https://www.fifa.com/news/fifa-and-unodc-celebrate-anniversary-of-partnership

UEFA

bwin becomes Official Partner of the UEFA Europa League and new UEFA Europa Conference League

Partnership with world-leader in responsible sports betting allows UEFA to engage more openly with betting sector

UEFA is pleased to announce it has signed a ground-breaking partnership with bwin to become an Official Partner of the UEFA Europa League and the newly formed UEFA Europa Conference League, for the next three seasons (2021-24).

Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA marketing director, said: “We’re delighted to have secured bwin as the first ever Official Sports Betting Partner for one of our competitions at Official Partner level. As a brand that defines itself by being in touch with fans and their passion for football and clubs throughout Europe, bwin is a great fit for our competitions.
bwin becomes Official Partner of the Europa League and Europa Conference League

The partnership with bwin allows UEFA to engage more openly with the sports betting sector, giving greater access to market intelligence and support from both a sports integrity and a commercial perspective. bwin is the world leader in responsible sports betting with a rich and long-standing tradition of partnerships in football, supporting clubs, federations and competitions worldwide. Their vast experience with sponsorship activations will be an invaluable contribution for both competitions”.

In parallel, UEFA is investing more in its fight against match-fixing by further developing its internal unit of experts and investigators in the field. UEFA is currently also looking at options to exploit its competitions data for betting purposes in a move to engage further with betting operators and enhance its visibility on the betting market.

The partnership underlines parent company, Entain plc, and bwin’s commitment to supporting both football and responsible betting around the world.

This season, a total of 64 teams from 35 of UEFA’s 55 member associations participate in these two leading competitions in European football from the group stage onwards, for which the partnership was concluded. The matches are broadcasted worldwide.

As the Official Sports Betting Partner of the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League, bwin will enjoy high visibility in both competitions, appearing on broadcast backdrops and in stadia, including on extensive perimeter advertising, websites and social media of these two UEFA competitions. A key element of the partnership will see bwin’s availability in supporting UEFA’s fight against match-fixing in order to maintain the integrity of the sport.

The sponsorship rights also provide the use of content and footage from both competitions on bwin’s own platforms, along with access to tickets and hospitality to create incredible experiences and entertainment for its customers.

Stephan Heilmann, Entain’s Managing Director Digital Europe, said: “We’re proud to be an Official Partner of the UEFA Europa League and the UEFA Europa Conference League alongside other major international brands. The partnership will provide an array of exciting opportunities to enhance our offer to our customers, creating unique new experiences and content. It also provides bwin with a formidable platform to reach fans in regulated sports betting markets around the world, highlighting our

unparalleled combination of the best product and the most responsible environment in which to bet.” Source: 7 September 2021, UEFA
Football https://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/about-uefa/news/026d-132f36b457c8-e9a2eb52ccac-1000--bwin-becomes-official-partner/

e Sports

Is cheating killing esports?

Recent cases of cheating in competitive esports have highlighted the growing problem of corruption in the sport, usually linked to illegal betting. Match-fixing is now the most serious issue facing the esports industry.

Although the highest level of competitive esports tends to have integrity and not experience match-fixing, it has been an ongoing issue since the early years of the eSports industry. In 2010, it was revealed that eleven Korean Starcraft professional players had been involved in organised match-fixing, having been approached by betting website operators and agreeing to throw matches. All eleven were banned and some faced criminal charges. Five North American Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) players were permanently banned in 2014 for a similar incident.

In May 2021, the Russian esports Federation hosted the EPIC CIS League Spring 2021 CS:GO tournament. Akuma, then a virtually unknown Ukrainian team, comfortably defeated two of the best teams in the world in a series of massive upsets. Akuma’s exceptional performance instantly raised suspicions, and accusations of cheating were levelled at the team. Combined with a sudden drop in performance after the initial accusations, Akuma were quickly at the centre of a major controversy. Fourteen of the participating teams at the tournament made a formal request to Valve, the CS:GO game developer, to launch an investigation into the matter. Andrii “B1ad3” Gorodenskyi, an experienced figure in the CS:GO scene and coach to one of the teams that lost to Akuma, said in an interview that he was certain that Akuma had been cheating. The eSports Integrity Commission (ESIC) then released a statement identifying “potential match-fixing and/or betting fraud behaviour” in the tournament related to Akuma. ESIC referred evidence to Valve and recommended that tournament organisers deny entries from Akuma. At the time of this article, no final decision has been made.

In June 2021, six Singaporean players in a Valorant tournament were issued bans of up to three years for match-fixing. At least one member of the team had made illegal bets on an online gambling website, wagering that his team would lose. The other members of the team were aware of this and did not report the matter to the tournament organisers, although they do not appear to have been directly involved in placing the bets. The team has since disbanded.

Despite esports players receiving harsh punishments, match-fixing continues to be widespread. In January 2021, 35 Australian CS:GO players were banned for up to five years by ESIC. The number of players involved in this case has worrying implications. Considering that the Australian CS:GO scene is comparatively small, it suggests that a sizeable proportion of the eSports scene there could be involved in match-fixing.

Three North American CS:GO players were banned in August 2021, with 34 more involved in the investigation which also involves the FBI. The ESIC said that “Most pertinent to the complications faced and the length of this investigation is ESIC’s observation of compelling evidence that suggests that organised crime groups and foreign betting syndicates were involved in

fraudulent activities.”
Source: 15 September 2021, AGB
eSports https://agbrief.com/intelligence/15/09/2021/is-cheating-killing-esports/?utm_source=Asia%20Gaming%20Brief&utm_campaign=f399b9a37d- EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_08_04_05_21_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_51950b5d21-f399b9a37d- 69324623&ct=t%28EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_8_31_2021_22_37_COPY_01%29&goal=0_51950b5d21-f399b9a37d-69324623

INTEGRITY IN SPORT EVENTS

France

Recruitment Criminal Intelligence Officer

The INTERPOL Anti-Corruption Unit is currently looking to recruit a Criminal Intelligence Officer in Anti-Doping (secondment).

The application deadline is 13 November 2021
Source: 17 September 2021, INTERPOL https://interpol.recruitmentplatform.com/Q22FK026203F3VBQBV7V4V4EW/EN//details.php?nPostingID=5146&nPostingTargetID=10890&option=52&sort=DES C&respnr=3&ID=Q22FK026203F3VBQBV7V4V4

CORRUPTION

Kenya

Kenya’s former sports minister found guilty of embezzling funds in 2016 Rio Olympic Games

The Kenyan Court on Wednesday found that former sports minister Hassan Wario was guilty of anti-corruption. He was charhed with embezzling funds for athletes in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

His initial arrest over these claims took place in October 2018. The former sports minister maintained his innocence, pleading not guilty to all counts of embezzlement. The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) stated that Wario had used the Kenya Olympic team budget to fly people to Brazil, despite being unconnected to the games. Wario and Soi were also accused of diverting Nike sports equipment worth millions of dollars, which has since been confiscated.

Wario and team leader Stephen Soi both were found guilty of “corruption relating to misuse” of approximately $800,000. Whilst Wario and Soi were the main offenders of the misuse of Olympic funds, a total of six officials including the former secretary- general of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) were also charged with “misappropriation and abuse of office” during the games. However, they were eventually acquitted.

The presiding judge Elizabeth Juma ordered their release from custody on Thursday following the hearing and ordered Wario and Soi to pay KSH 3.6 million ($32,667) and KSH 10.2 million ($92,558) respectively to the state. The former sports minister has since been appointed Kenya’s ambassador to Austria, but the court has withheld his passport to block Wario from returning to Austria and resuming diplomatic responsibilities.

2016 marked Kenya’s most successful Olympic games, winning six gold medals, six silvers, and one bronze. This case will not affect Kenya’s ability to compete in future games. Source: 19 September 2021, The Jurist Olympics

 

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