Former Whitehawk footballer jailed for match-fixing

Posted On 20 Jun 2014 at 6:08 pm

Former Whitehawk footballer Michael Boateng has been jailed today (Friday 20 June) for 16 months for his part in a match-fixing conspiracy.

In the same case two Singaporean men, Krishna Ganeshan and Chann Sankaran, were both sent to prison for five years by Judge Melbourne Inman at Birmingham Crown Court.

The National Crime Agency said: “The NCA investigation into the men’s activities began when the Daily Telegraph presented the agency with evidence from its own undercover investigation.

“Over a seven-day period in November 2013, NCA surveillance of the men provided enough evidence to secure their convictions despite the failure of their plot to fix a match between AFC Wimbledon and Dagenham Redbridge on (Tuesday) 26 November.”

NCA branch commander Richard Warner said: “The Telegraph’s investigation suggested that Sankaran and Ganeshan were coming to the UK intent on fixing football matches.

“Our priority when they arrived was to determine the extent of their plans and identify any networks they might have had access to.”

Michael Boateng

Michael Boateng

The NCA said that Sankaran, 33, of Hawthorn Road, Hastings, and Ganeshan, 44, of Hougang Avenue, Hougang, Singapore, flew into Manchester Airport on Thursday 21 November last year.

Surveillance teams were deployed to watch and listen to the men over the next few days.

Their meetings and conversations built up a picture of a concerted effort by the pair to secure a large sum of investment cash, the NCA said.

They tried to engage and corrupt footballers to influence the scoreline of matches and pass information to a wider overseas network to make money by betting on the outcomes.

The pair came under pressure when players failed to show for a meeting with an investor on Friday 22 November.

They spent the rest of the weekend frantically trying set up another meeting and finally succeeded in arranging one to take place on Monday 25 November in Croydon.

At a coffee shop in Croydon, Sankaran and Ganeshan met Hakeem Adelakun, 23, of Mayfield Crescent, Thornton Heath, and Michael Boateng, 22, of of Davidson Road, Croydon.

Both were playing for the Conference South side Whitehawk.

The investor handed over €60,000 in cash to Sankaran and Ganeshan which, unbeknown to the men, had been marked by the NCA.

Shortly after the investor left, the four men reconvened outside some public toilets in Croydon, where Ganeshan and Sankaran gave €450 to the players.

Back in Manchester the next day, and now carrying around a large quantity of euros, Ganeshan and Sankaran faced the task of exchanging the cash for sterling without raising suspicion.

The NCA said: “They visited a number of money exchange bureaux and transferred some of the money overseas.

“From that point on there was a clear shift in their plans. They began to focus their efforts on trying to influence the scoreline of a match between AFC Wimbledon and Dagenham Redbridge, due to be played on Tuesday 26 November.

“They started telephoning contacts overseas with the message that ‘the game is on, we’ll give you the score’.”

Hakeem Adelakun was cleared of bribery by the jury which was unable to reach a verdict on a third former Whitehawk player, Moses Swaibu.

Swaibu, 25, of Tooley Street, Bermondsey, faces a retrial.

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