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Whitehawk FC’s Michael Boateng, Hakeem Adelakun charged in match-fixing probe

December 6, 2013 at 1:02 am | News Desk

Whitehawk FC’s Michael Boateng, Hakeem Adelakun charged in match-fixing probeLONDON: Two players with an English non-league club were charged Thursday with conspiracy to defraud as part of the National Crime Agency’s match fixing probe.

Michael Boateng and Hakeem Adelakun play for Brighton-based Whitehawk FC in the Conference South — effectively the sixth tier of English football.

They are the third and fourth people charged in connection with the investigation into an alleged international illegal betting syndicate.

Boateng and Adelakun have been bailed to appear at Birmingham Magistrates’

Court in central England on December 11.

An NCA spokesman said: “The Crown Prosecution Service’s Organised Crime Division found sufficient evidence and was satisfied it was in the public interest to authorise charges.”

Last week, Chann Sankaran, a 33-year-old Singapore national, and Krishna Sanjey Ganeshan, a 43-year-old with dual British and Singapore nationality, were remanded in custody until December 13.

Sankaran and Ganeshan, alleged to be members of a Singapore-based betting syndicate, have been accused of conspiring to defraud bookmakers by influencing the course of football matches and placing bets on them between November 1 and November 26 this year.

The maximum sentence for the offence is 10 years’ imprisonment.

Last week a notorious Singaporean football match-fixer denied any links to a probe by the NCA, the UK’s equivalent of the FBI, that Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper said had been triggered by its undercover investigation.

Wilson Raj Perumal, a convicted fixer who is under police protection in Hungary, told Singapore’s New Paper he played no part in the scam — although he admitted he had full knowledge of it.

Perumal, a self-confessed arch-fixer who says he used to collaborate with alleged Singaporean mastermind Dan Tan, was jailed for match-fixing in Finland in 2011 and is the reputed whistle-blower who has helped European police uncover hundreds of rigged games.

Reports earlier this year also linked Perumal with a multi-million dollar scandal in Australian state football.

Back in February, Europe-wide police agency Europol said it had found evidence of match-fixing in top international football matches and it had uncovered an organised crime syndicate based in Asia that was behind the operation.

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