The Public Ministry of Goiás (MP-GO) kicked off the third phase of Operation Maximum Penalty against match-fixing in football this Tuesday, 28th.
The MP-GO carried out search and seizure warrants in eight cities in five states in the investigation of seven games.
The most relevant game involves Flamengo and Avaí, valid for the 2022 Brazilian Championship. The confrontation ended with the Santa Catarina team winning 2-1.
All qualified matches took place last year in the Brasileirão, but in the 2023 State Championships.
The operation was promoted by the Special Action Group to Combat Organized Crime (Gaeco). The action was supported by the Institutional Security and Intelligence Coordination (CSI), the Military Police of Goiás, the Cyber Gaeco of the Public Ministry of São Paulo and the Gaecos of the States of Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraíba and Rio de Janeiro, reported the MP-GO.
In total, this Tuesday’s actions, which are an offshoot of the first two stages of Operation Maximum Penalty, served ten search and seizure warrants in Goiânia (GO), Bataguassu (MS), Campina Grande (PB), Nilópolis (RJ ), Santana do Parnaíba (SP), São Paulo (SP), Volta Redonda (RJ) and Votuporanga (SP).
According to Estadão, the warrants were issued by the 2nd State Court for Deeds Relating to Offenses Committed by a Criminal Organization and Laundering or Concealment of Rights and Valuables.
Furthermore, the investigation investigates possible illicit conduct that could “constitute a criminal organization to defraud the results of football matches (crimes provided for in Law No. 12,850/13 and in articles 198 and 199 of the General Sports Law)”, explains the MP- GO.
The Public Ministry investigates criminals who intended to entice athletes into result manipulation schemes in Brazilian and State games.
Players would receive money to take cards, commit penalties or contribute to some outcome of a confrontation, thus benefiting bettors who were part of the gang.
Matches investigated in the new phase of Operation Maximum Penalty
According to the MP-GO, seven games are being investigated in this third stage of the operation. One of them is from last year’s Brasileirão, between Avaí x Flamengo.
There are two Series B of the 2022 Brazilian Championship: Náutico x Sampaio Corrêa and Náutico x Criciúma.
The other games are from this year: Goiânia x Aparecidense, Goiás x Goiânia (both for Goiano), Nacional x Auto Esporte, Sousa x Auto Esporte (for Paraibano).
For now, the Public Ministry has not detailed which actions in each match are being investigated nor mentioned players allegedly involved in the scheme.
However, the MP-GO only announced that the duels valid for the Brasileirão and Série B were played in the second round of the respective competitions.
It is worth noting that players involved in other games already investigated were punished sportingly with fines, suspensions and even bans from the sport worldwide.