Archive for ‘corruption’

03/12/2018

Yu Delu and Cao Yupeng match-fixing: Chinese pair banned in snooker corruption scandal

Yu Delu
Yu Delu’s highest finish at a ranking event was the semi-finals of the 2016 Scottish Open

China’s Yu Delu has been banned from snooker for 10 years and nine months after a major match-fixing inquiry.

His compatriot Cao Yupeng also pleaded guilty to fixing and was banned for six years, although three and a half years of his sentence are suspended.

Suspicious betting patterns in numerous matches were investigated over two years in one of the sport’s biggest corruption scandals.

Yu has been described as a “scourge to the game of snooker”.

As reported first by the BBC, the pair are the first Chinese players to be banned for cheating.

Yu, who manipulated the outcome of five matches over a two-and-a-half-year period, will serve the longest suspension since English player Stephen Lee was given a 12-year ban in 2013.

In one match, the stakes placed on the result totalled £65,000, which would have generated a profit of £86,000.

The 31-year-old reached the semi-finals of the 2016 Scottish Open and was ranked 43 in the world when he was charged.

Twenty-eight-year-old Cao, who fixed three matches, was runner-up in the Scottish event last year and world number 38 when initially suspended in May.

Both players were investigated by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) before an independent tribunal ruled on their cases.

The tribunal, chaired by David Casement QC, found that Yu “engaged in deliberate and premeditated corruption to secure substantial financial gain for his friends/associates and himself.”

Yu also admitted lying to the investigator, failing to cooperate with the inquiry and betting on snooker when prohibited from doing so.

“It is very sad when talented players are attracted to the opportunity to make money from fixing matches,” said WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson.

Cao Yupeng
Cao Yupeng “expressed his sorrow” over match-fixing and said he had financial difficulties

The fixed matches

Yu Delu admitted fixing in five matches:

  • Indian Open qualifiers: WON 4-3 v Martin McCrudden – 12 February 2015
  • Paul Hunter Classic: LOST 4-1 v Dominic Dale in Germany – 29 August 2015
  • Welsh Open: WON 4-3 v Ian Glover – 15 February 2016
  • European Masters qualifiers: LOST 4-1 v Michael Georgiou – 4 August 2017
  • Shanghai Masters: LOST 5-3 v Kurt Maflin – 15 November 2017

He also failed to report approaches to fix matches, did not cooperate with the investigation and breached rules by betting on snooker.

The scandals involved betting on markets in the Far East.

Yu won two of the five fixed matches, but had arranged for the correct score to be 4-3 to either player.

There is no suggestion any of the opponents were aware of the match-fixing plan.

Cao Yupeng admitted fixing in three matches:

  • Welsh Open: LOST 4-1 v Ali Carter – 15 February 2016
  • Indian Open qualifiers: LOST 4-0 v Stuart Bingham – 30 June 2016
  • UK Championship: LOST 6-1 v Stephen Maguire – 24 November 2016

Cao also failed to provide material that was requested during the investigation.

He told investigators that he received £5,000 for each of the matches he fixed and he was initially given an eight-year ban, but this was reduced to six – three and a half of which were suspended – because of his co-operation with the inquiry.

“Cao Yupeng has shown true remorse and he will assist the WPBSA in player education and in its fight against corruption, which is reflected in his reduced sanction,” said Ferguson.

Yu was given a 12-year ban, to match the sanction imposed on Lee five years ago, but this was reduced to 10 years and nine months because of his late guilty plea.

Analysis

Jamie Broughton, 5 live snooker reporter

These two players are well known in China, and this story will be headline news there.

Lengthy bans show that the sport’s world governing body, the WPBSA, has the capability and desire to investigate such cases all over the world, and not just in Europe.

Sanctions like this send out a clear message to any player tempted to get involved in match fixing that it’s not worth the risk of getting caught.

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16/01/2017

Why do Indians vote for ‘criminal’ politicians? – BBC News

Why do India’s political parties field candidates with criminal charges?

Why do the voters favour them despite their tainted past?

Political scientist Milan Vaishnav has been studying links between crime and democracy in India for many years now. His upcoming book When Crime Pays offers some intriguing insights into what is a disturbing feature of India’s electoral democracy.

The good news is that the general election is a thriving, gargantuan exercise: 554 million voters queued up at more than 900,000 stations to cast their ballots in the last edition in 2014. The fortunes of 8,250 candidates representing 464 political parties were at stake.

The bad news is that a third (34%) of 543 MPs who were elected faced criminal charges, up from 30% in 2009 and 24% in 2004.

Fiercely competitive

Some of the charges were of minor nature or politically motivated. But more than 20% of the new MPs faced serious charges such as attempted murder, assaulting public officials, and theft.

Now, India’s general elections are not exactly a cakewalk.The Indian politicians facing criminal charges

Why do many India MPs have criminal records?

Politics and the barrel of the gun

Over time, they have become fiercely competitive: 464 parties were in the fray in 2014, up from 55 in the first election in 1952.

The average margin of victory was 9.7% in 2009, the thinnest since the first election. At 15%, the average margin of victory was fatter in the landslide 2014 polls, but even this was vastly lower than, say, the average margin of victory in the 2012 US Congressional elections (32%) and the 2010 general election in Britain (18%).

India’s elections are fiercely competitiveAlmost all parties in India, led by the ruling BJP and the main opposition Congress, field tainted candidates. Why do they do so?

For one, says Dr Vaishnav, “a key factor motivating parties to select candidates with serious criminal records comes down to cold, hard cash”.

The rising cost of elections and a shadowy election financing system where parties and candidates under-report collections and expenses means that parties prefer “self-financing candidates who do not represent a drain on the finite party coffers but instead contribute ‘rents’ to the party”. Many of these candidates have criminal records.

There are three million political positions in India’s three-tier democracy; each election requires considerable resources.

Many parties are like personal fiefs run by dominant personalities and dynasts, and lacking inner-party democracy – conditions, which help “opportunistic candidates with deep pockets”.

‘Good proxy’

“Wealthy, self financing candidates are not only attractive to parties but they are also likely to be more electorally competitive. Contesting elections is an expensive proposition in most parts of the world, a candidate’s wealth is a good proxy for his or her electoral vitality,” says Dr Vaishnav, who is senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.Political parties also nominate candidates with criminal backgrounds to stand for election because, simply put, they win.

During his research, Dr Vaishnav studied all candidates who stood in the last three general elections. He separated them into candidates with clean records and candidates with criminal records, and found that the latter had an 18% chance of winning their next election whereas the “clean” candidates had only a 6% chance.

Many Indians vote on lines on identity and religion

He did a similar calculation for candidates contesting state elections between 2003 and 2009, and found a “large winning advantage for candidates who have cases pending against them”.

Politics also offers a lucrative career – a 2013 study showed that the average wealth of sitting legislators increased 222% during just one term in office. The officially declared average wealth of re-contesting candidates – including losers and winners – was $264,000 (£216,110) in 2004 and $618,000 in 2013, an increase of 134%.

‘Biggest criminal’

Now why do Indians vote for criminal candidates? Is it because many of the voters are illiterate, ignorant, or simply, ill-informed?

Dr Vaishnav doesn’t believe so.

Candidates with criminal records don’t mask their reputation. Earlier this month, a candidate belonging to the ruling party in northern Uttar Pradesh state reportedly boasted to a party worker that he was the “biggest criminal”. Increasing information through media and rising awareness hasn’t led to a shrinking of tainted candidates.

Dr Vaishnav believes reasonably well-informed voters support criminal candidates in constituencies where social divisions driven by caste and/or religion are sharp and the government is failing to carry out i