Businessmen and footballer convicted for lower league football match-fixing plot in Far Eastern betting scam
Three men have been convicted of a plot to fix lower league football matches as part of a lucrative Far Eastern betting scam.
Two businessmen and a Conference South footballer were found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to commit bribery following an undercover sting operation.
Chann Sankaran, 33, and Krishna Ganeshan, 44, were central figures in the bribery plot and had travelled from Singapore to rope in semi-professional players to ensure the right score to secure the greatest profit. Michael Boateng, 22, a former defender for Brighton-based Whitehawk FC, was also found guilty.
The fixers targeted the soft underbelly of British football where the cost of recruiting players and scrutiny was low, while major gains could still be made on Asian betting markets.
The trial was told that a former Fifa investigator had gone undercover after identifying Sankaran as a potential match-fixer and then brought in a national newspaper when he needed the €60,000 cash to pay for a fixed game. The case was then passed over to the National Crime Agency.
One of its investigators met with Sankaran and Ganeshan, of Hastings, East Sussex, in a Manchester hotel. In a recording of one of Ganeshan's telephone recordings from a bugged room he said he was looking to make "between £75,000 to £100,000'' on a cup tie involving non-league clubs on 30 November last year.
Jurors cleared Hakeem Adelakun, 23, who also played for Whitehawk, of involvement in the conspiracy. They failed to reach a verdict on a third footballer, Moses Swaibu, who will face a retrial.
Mr Adelakun’s legal team said that he had been duped about the nature of a meeting with Sankaran. “When it became clear that match fixing was their object Hakeem sought to withdraw but pressure was exerted for him to remain to meet 'Mr Big',” said barrister Ben Douglas-Jones.
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'