The Maximum Penalty Operation has brought new developments around the investigation by the Public Ministry of Goiás (MP-GO) into a match-fixing scheme in Brazilian football. In a report released by the program “Fantástico”, from Rede Globo, on the night of this Sunday (14), exclusive videos obtained during the operation were released.
Among the videos found, there is a moment in which one of the bettors celebrates a combination play.
– Moraes, you’re mad!
Lateral Moraes, who played for Juventude in 2022, was one of those who agreed to be part of the manipulation scheme. Subsequently, he made an agreement with the MP-GO and admitted that he was involved in the game scheme of the Séries A and B of the 2022 Brasileirão and in Estaduais this year.
According to prosecutors, the group of gamblers under investigation was led by Bruno Lopes, who presented himself as a player manager. The suspects are divided between bettors, who recruited athletes to forge bids during the games and placed bets on websites and financiers. They had the mission to provide money and pay the enticed players.
– What we noticed is that the bettors joined the enticed players to try to manipulate the bets to guarantee a high gain, a high volume. A financial gain that escapes the inherent luck of the game. The rigged games were commissioned events and you seek to profit from it – said promoter Fernando Cesconetto, from the Goiás MP.
The scheme was designed to extend to several competitions
– I’m in contact with the Campeonato Mineiro, I’m in contact with the Campeonato Paranaense, I’m in contact with the Campeonato Paulista – says Thiago Chambó, one of the organizers of the scheme, in material collected by the MP-GO.
In a statement released by the Sunday magazine, Bruno Lopes said that he would have spent BRL 400,000 on betting and enticing players in the last three rounds of the Brazilian Series B. However, the MP-GO promoter stated that the scheme leads to higher values.
– We have elements here that, in just one round, the profit that the bettors had was R$ 700 thousand – said Cesconetto.
In the statement, lateral Moraes also detailed how supporter Vitor Yamazaki was contacted.
– Bro, do you want to do it? I have good money, we’re going to pay R$30,000, we’re going to send you R$5,000 before the game and then send the rest if it works out – she said.
According to the testimony of Bruno Lopes to the Police, responsible for leading the scheme, the values changed according to the division.
– It’s very relative. I told them, it really depends. It’s a bet you make. Married to a big team, then you put R$ 500, R$ 1 thousand there. Now, if it’s a small team there, the house lets you put R$ 200, R$ 300…
The MP-GO promoter stated that there was frustration in the antepenultimate round of Série A, when profit was expected to be high.
– In the antepenultimate round of series A of the Brazilian Championship, multiple bets were placed. And one of the groups was expected to receive a profit of R$ 2 million for these bets – he revealed.
Audios directed at Eduardo Bauermann, defender of Santos, were also released. He would have received R$ 50,000 in advance to take a yellow card.
– Bro, you’re going to pay me everything. I asked you. I trusted you, bro. And you dishonored me again, bro – says one of the group members to the Peixe athlete.
In the next match, the athlete received the red card just after the game ended. However, the rules of betting sites do not count these cards. An unidentified participant sent a message threatening Bauermann.
– Tell him here, thread. This one is for you. This one is for your sister. Yeah, “f****”. Here with “us” it’s just like that. Come! – emphasized.
So far, 13 games have been denounced by the MP to Justice: eight from Series A, one from Series B, two games from the Campeonato Paulista and two from the Campeonato Gaúcho. The Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino, authorized the Federal Police to open an investigation and help with the investigation. At the moment, the Federal Government is preparing a Provisional Measure to regulate sports betting.
Betting sites are considered victims of clubs. Players were removed from the clubs they defended. Currently, four have made an agreement and cooperate with the MP-GO to become witnesses in the process: Kevin Lomónaco (who played for RB Bragantino), Moraes (back who belongs to Atlético-GO and now plays for Aparecidense-GO), Jarro Pedroso ( striker for Inter-SM) and Nikolas Farias (midfielder for Novo Hamburgo).
The first two received money to receive a yellow card and the other two would have to commit a penalty in a match.
Nikolas Farias initially said that he received proposals but that he would not do it.
– In fact, he contacted me himself. And he asked me to take the penalty. Only he was insisting and I said I wasn’t going to do it – he said.
However, in an image obtained by “Fantástico”, the prosecution brings the penalty committed by the midfielder in the match between Noia and Bento Gonçalves and a message from Nikolas to a bettor.
– This is man talk. If I said I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it. That’s it. I knew I was going to play the game, so there was no mistake-she said.
Nikolas later stated.
– Every time I denied it, he would say “then do this, do that”. Until I accepted the penalty.
UNDERSTAND THE CASE
The investigation into suspected match-fixing began in November last year. Vila Nova’s agent, Jorge Hugo Bravo, discovered that the club’s players had been tricked by a group of gamblers before the match against Sport in Série B. The manager gathered evidence of the attempted manipulation and sought out prosecutors who fight organized crime in the state.
Military Police officer Jorge Hugo Bravo discovered that the athlete Marcos Vinícius Alves Barreira, nicknamed Romário, had been tricked. As the player was not scheduled, he tried to induce a teammate to take a red card or commit a penalty in his place. The combined amount, according to Romário’s statement, was R$ 150,000, with an “down payment” of R$ 10,000, according to the video of his statement published in “Fantástico”.
MP-GO will continue to investigate the matches and does not rule out that there was manipulation of results in other football matches. Operation Maximum Penalty is in its second phase.
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