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Singaporean Court Presses Charges Against Local for Allegedly Accepting Bribes to Manipulate PBA, Thai League Matches; PBA to Investigate

April 27, 2023 PhilippinesSingaporeThailand Crime & LegalSports

According to a report by The Straits Times, Singaporean local Koa Wei Quan was charged with 14 counts of bribery by the State Court in Singapore after being suspected of paying about $70,000 in bribes to manipulate basketball games in the Philippines and Thailand.

According to a story in The Straits Times, the Singaporean allegedly offered PBA player Ian Sangalang a $5,000 bribe “on or around April 6, 2018”. The court was also informed that Koa conspired with Leonidez Zapata Avenido and Sergei Bien Orillo to ensure that the Magnolia Hotshots would lose to the San Miguel Beermen by nine points or more in Game 5 of the 2018 Philippine Cup Finals.

Prosecutors allegedly claimed Koa collaborated with Orillo and Avenido on two occasions to pay unidentified Blackwater players.

The Straits Times also stated that Koa collaborated with a person named Poh Wei Hao to offer bribes to Almond Vosotros worth $1,000 and $1,500 in two other games. The court stated that a bribe worth US$1,200 was offered to Vosotros on or around June 24, 2018, to influence the Thailand game between Thai General Equipment and Provincial Electrical Authority (PEA) to have a 23-point spread.

According to the investigation, Koa reportedly impacted Philippine games while he was in Singapore, Thailand, and Singapore, and allegedly engaged in graft-related offenses in Thailand games up until or around July 22, 2018.

According to The Straits Times, Koa’s case has been continued until May 2018 and, if found guilty of graft, he may spend up to five years in prison and pay a $100,000 fine.

When asked about the PBA’s response, Commissioner Willie Marcial stated that an investigation into the claims would be made.

“We’ll look into it and see how it may have happened. We must locate supporting paperwork and evidence.” Marcial remarked over the phone.

The league’s commissioner said that he was only made aware of the accusations from that morning.

“We’ll discover how to stop this,” he added.

Should the lawsuit proceed, Marcial added, he also wants to know how these occurred. In order to ensure the integrity of the games, the league commissioner also stated that they are collaborating with other organizations, including the Games and Amusements Board.

Vosotros, on the other hand, expressed amazement at the claims made in the news article.

“Everyone knows I played in Thailand in 2018, that was my second team after Mono. I’m surprised why I’m being involved in this issue,” Vosotros stated in a message to GMA Integrated News.

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