Other assets, worth 3 000 000 lei, seized by the Criminal Assets Recovery Agency in a money laundering case
Home / Mass-media / Events / High value target operation of the National Anticorruption Center of the Republic of Moldova and Europol. Eleven persons are suspected, five of them are detained, in a match-fixing case
High value target operation of the National Anticorruption Center of the Republic of Moldova and Europol. Eleven persons are suspected, five of them are detained, in a match-fixing case08.12.2020 1456 Views
Eleven suspects, all of them from the football environment, are under criminal investigation by the National Anticorruption Center and prosecutors, within a case initiated on manipulation of sports events. Among them are presidents of the football clubs from the Republic of Moldova, directors of specialized football schools and players, representing 5 teams out of the 10 from the National Division (highest Moldavian football league). Europol delivered operational an analytical support to the investigation. UEFA also assisted by providing a wide range of expertise to a comprehensive and multidimensional investigation of all the circumstances.
Thus, the National Anticorruption Center started an investigation on allegedly illegal actions of encouraging, training and influencing the players of sports clubs in order to produce a vitiated effect on football matches. According to the materials of the criminal file, starting from 2017, several coaches, sports agents, owners of sports clubs and persons from the administration of the Moldovan Football Federation would have influenced the players of the football clubs to fix the results of the games with interested people. Thus, for some benefits, favors or financial rewards, footballers were instructed to have certain behavior during the game, at what score to lose or win, the results being already known at bookmakers.
As an outcome of Moldovan investigations, a multiple number of suspicious bets were identified, which did not correspond to the real odds, proving to be the fact of the permanent manipulation of football matches in the Republic of Moldova with the involvement of the same clubs.
From the above-mentioned, there is a continuous illegal activity of sports clubs in manipulating the results of matches, actions that undermine the integrity in football, sports ethics and compromise the fair and unpredictable nature of sports competition, values that are the subject of the Council of Europe Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, ratified by Moldova by Law no. 285/2018.
The prosecutors revealed the amounts between 10.000 - 20.000 € for a fixed match, most of them being registered in Asian betting companies with clear links to EU countries’ betting officies.
The investigators have detected around 20 arranged games in the perioud starting from July 2020, the total amount of criminal proceeds being estimated at 600 000€.
On December 7th, the NAC, together with anticorruption prosecutors and EUROPOL representatives, have performed house searches of the targeted suspects under investigation, including presidents of the football clubs, coaches, players of the national football teams. Following the criminal investigation actions, out of the 11 suspected persons, 5 were detained for 72 hours and placed in the NAC detention center. If found guilty, they risk a criminal fine of up to 5,000 conventional units or imprisonment from 2 to 6 years, in both cases with the deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or to exercise a certain activity on a term from 4 to 7 years.
We remind that 5 years ago, the NAC and anticorruption prosecutors handled another large-scale case regarding bribing some officials within the Moldovan Football Federation. That case was about attempts to influence some players of the youth team of Moldova to lose the football match that had to be played with the analog team of the Belgian Kingdom. The case was sent to court in July 2015.