Response to financial crimes challenge by @interpretation
When I read the challenge posted by @interpretation, I started thinking about writing again. Thank you for this challenge. I am a sports journalist and have been following the sports related crimes very closely.
We all know about the crimes in the sports is primarily driven by football. It is an astonishing fact that total revenues of the 92 clubs in the top four divisions of English football exceeded £4 billion in 2019. So obviously the financial crimes are prominent in the football sector more than any other.
The growth of online gambling platforms means that at a click it is possible for the proceeds of crime in one jurisdiction to be placed on a betting market in another jurisdiction with the wainnings drawn down and laundered in a third jurisdiction and thus the internationalisation of gambling-related money laundering threatens the integrity of sport globally.
Match Fixing is a common financial crime
Match fixing is a commonly observed fraud in the sports sector. The reason I am writing this story is because I am a big fan of cricket and had been to see the live cricket matches in India few years back.
I was on the ground in Ahmedabad (A City in the state of Gujarat) to participate in the live sports. I was sitting in a stadium. Those were the pre-pandemic days. A 25 years old man was sitting next to me. He was continuously on the phone and was speaking in the local language.
The match started between two local teams. My neighbour said "You see now the opener will be out on zero". I just looked at him and smiled.
But to my surprise the Opener of the match was out on the first ball without scoring a zero. My neighbour was very happy, he jumped into air and then called someone to ask for some rates.
After that he was predicting every action in that match perfectly. I was amazed to see his predictions in the games. But I noticed that before he was calling and asking for the rate and was probably betting on certain actions, he used to get the messages on snapchat.
I could not resist and asked him how was it possible for him to predict. His answer was fabulous. He told me that he had subscribed to Astrological services. These astrological services were sending him the messages of what would happen on the next ball in the cricket match.
Not to mention but this was an amazing story of how match fixing in India works.
By the way it is not legal in India to do betting on the games. Rather betting is illegal on the land of the country. But my neighbour was doing it swiftly and was winning good money on almost every action.
Astrologer was probably the match fixer who was getting the indications from the players on the ground and was sending out the messages to every one who subscribed to his messaging services.
When I asked my neighbour to elaborate what was happening he told me that he was betting on the actions of the cricketers. So whatever be the result of the match, he was winning money on every action of the player. He won money on wickets of the team he was supporting, he won money on the runs scored by the team, he made money on literally everything. In a day he won roughly a million rupees just by predicting correct actions and mind you this was all illegal. No body actually knows what is the size of money laundering through cricket in India. By my wild guesses this could be far more bigger than the problems in football.
I dont know who was my neighbor, I dont know what was his profile, I am not sure how would he receive that money. Definately not in the bank accounts in India as he would be required to explain it to Indian tax authorities. So, he must have received all the money either in cash or in the bank accounts in tax havens.
These crimes are very low profile and nobody knows about them. They can be easily in billions.