NRL match-fixing: police investigation reveals dugs, suspicious bets and money laundering

CRIME figures provided NRL players with sex workers and cocaine, and urged them to provide inside information, police said.

DRUGS, suspicious betting, money laundering and prostitution are rife in the National Rugby League, an extensive NSW Police investigation has found.

Detectives from Strike Force Nuralda, which was trained to investigate allegations of match-fixing, recently met with NRL officials to warn them that organized crime had infiltrated the game.

The NSW Organized Crime Squad’s final report, released today, reveals that it uncovered “suspicious betting behavior” within the league, including the provision of “inside information” for gambling purposes, which is an illegal act punishable by up to two years in prison. .

The probe found that organized crime figures provided gamers with prostitutes and cocaine, and encouraged them to provide inside information that could be used to bet on games, The daily telegraph reports.

However, the strike force did not see that the games were rigged.

Detectives also uncovered evidence of drug supply and money laundering, but these offenses did not directly concern the NRL.

Investigators will not lay charges for the illegal practices discovered, but they have referred the cases to other members of the Organized Crime Squad and to financial intelligence regulator AUSTRAC for further investigation.

“While detectives did not favor criminal charges related to these issues, their investigation revealed activities and practices considered high risk to the NRL,” NSW Police said in a statement.

“In light of this information, representatives of Strike Force Nuralda recently met with the NRL and provided recommendations to ensure the integrity of the code is not compromised by organized crime infiltration. “

The investigation was triggered in October 2015, when police received allegations of illegal gambling and match-fixing within the NRL.

Investigations intensified after the NRL and betting companies referred to evidence of suspicious betting on a game between Parramatta and Manly in April 2016.

Since then, police have examined 46,000 pages of betting data, 300 pages of AUSTRAC data and over 1,000 pages of telecommunications data.

Detectives identified 13 potential people of interest and spoke to 161 witnesses, including players, umpires, NRL staff, professional bettors and associates of people of interest.

Some players have been questioned in secret statutory hearings organized by the NSW Crime Commission.

The strike force found punters – including gamblers and former players – who would normally bet around $ 50 on a game to bet up to $ 15,000, The daily telegraph reports.

Police did not name any of the players involved in the alleged criminal acts.

The survey also looked at the practice of point shaving – where strong teams or important players within teams that should win with big margins, pull out to win only with small margins – but it didn’t. not found that this had happened.

NO CHARGE WAS CARRIED OUT

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg spoke out amid the latest scandal that rocked the NRL on the opening day of the Rugby Union World Cup.

Despite the report revealing that he had uncovered “suspicious betting behavior” and “inside information” within the league, Greenberg was happy to report that no charges had been laid.

“I am glad that despite a very thorough investigation, there were no charges.” said Greenberg.

“We have been cooperating continuously with the police for almost two years, as we should when allegations like this surface.

“Despite hundreds of hours of investigations, interviews and surveillance, no charges have been laid.

“And that should give the fans, followers and players of our sport great confidence as we approach next season.”

With 13 people of interest reported, Greenberg said he had not received the names of the players involved. “No, not specifically,” he said.

Greenberg admitted that the NRL learned a lot in the process and will continue to be at the forefront when it comes to keeping the game clean.

“A huge number of lessons have been learned and no one should think that we will ever be complacent about the challenges inside sport,” he said. “We have shown over time that we will act if and when we need to.”


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