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Europol investigate a Bulgarian for involvement in match fixing in Greece

18 January 2012 / 22:01:17  GRReporter
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The news that one of the six bosses of the world lottery mafia, which deals with illegal betting and match fixing is Bulgarian broke half a year ago. The revelation was made by the Singaporean Wilson Raj Perumal after his arrest in Helsinki with charges that he was fixing matches in the Finnish Cup along with nine other local players.

"The union of black lottery is funded from Singapore. It involves bosses from Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary. The management consists of six people. These people are merciless; they do not tolerate any theft or betrayal. Anyone who opposes them is threatened even with death," said Perumal to the Finnish justice.

Scandals in connection with match fixing broke out in 60 countries. Dozens of players, coaches, judges and representatives of football clubs were captured and interrogated in Greece last year after audio recordings of telephone conversations between the persons involved reached to the justice. Two days ago, the host of the sports programme "The case on Sky" Kyriakos Thomaidis referred again to the international scope of the criminal network, revealing the Bulgarian connection in it. Here is what one of the most popular sports journalists in Greece told GRReporter:

"It is about Kostadin Hadzhiivanov who is currently being investigated by Europol. We revealed in the show that he used a Greek mobile phone to get in touch with the "brain" of fixed matches in Germany Ante Sapina, who is in prison. The specific conversation was held on 17 April 2009. It is heard how Hadzhiivanov agreed with Sapina on depositing 70,000 euro in the bank account of a football player who plays in the Cypriot team Omonia."

According to Kyriakos Thomaidis, the two men spoke by the telephone several times. During the conversations, they mentioned the name of the Chinese Tang Chi Eng, who is the world's first suspect of involvement in match fixing.

"The bank accounts they mentioned are in Singapore banks. Wilson Raj Perumal, who submitted information about the operation of the network to the Finnish authorities, is Singaporean too."
Konstantin Hadzhiivanov whose ID was shown during the broadcast, has been called by the investigator Kasimis to testify in the case of fixed matches in Greece. "The judges and investigators Kaloyanis and Argyris, who received the complete file on the case today, are expected to summon him too."

Kyriakos Thomaidis revealed to GRReporter that he had contacted the Bulgarian, who expressed the wish to meet. "Kostadin speaks Greek very well," the journalist said, adding that his findings on the case are yet to come.

Meanwhile, the World Football Federation FIFA announced that it would make an "open line" in February to enable the players report on attempts to bribe them. Security manager Chris Eaton said that FIFA will take action and protect those who will provide information on the way of operation of criminal networks. He supports the imposition of more stringent penalties in all countries, saying that if Perumal were arrested for the same crime in Australia, he would have been sentenced to ten years in prison.

Chris Eaton said that FIFA is determined to take drastic measures against match fixing and guarantees amnesty to all players, referees and officials, who have had no other choice but to comply with the orders given by the members of criminal networks.

Tags: SportsFootballFixed matchesKonstantin HadzhiivanovBribeAnte SapinaCriminal networkFIFA
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