South Korean police have launched a match-fixing and illegal gambling probe involving 11 basketball players in the top-tier Korean Basketball League.
Park Min-soon, head of the cybercrimes division at Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency, said Tuesday that the probe had been triggered by an alleged game-rigging incident in February when Samsung Thunders player intentionally missed shots to lose the game, a game in which he placed 1 million Korean won ($830) on his team to lose against the ET Land Elephants.
Kim Sun-Hyung, a Seoul SK Knights player who recently represented South Korea in the William Jones Cup basketball tournament in Taiwan, was among the 26 current and retired players—11 in basketball, 12 in judo and 1 in wrestling—under investigation for alleged gambling on basketball, football, and baseball games using illegal Internet betting sites from 2009 to 2015.
Investigators have yet to release the names of the other players, their teams or the games involved. Police are planning to send the case to prosecutors soon for possible indictment, the official said.
South Korean football, volleyball, basketball and even motorboat racing have been rocked by a series of scandals in recent years.
In 2011 prosecutors charged 57 people—46 current and former players and 11 gang members and bookmakers—for fixing 15 games in the professional football K-League
In 2013, basketball legend and star coach Kang Dong-Hee was convicted of fixing games between February and March 2011 and was permanently banned by the basketball league.
Former Busan KT Sonicboom head coach Chun Chang-jin—a five-time KBL coach-of-the-year and a two-time head coach of South Korea’s national basketball team—has been under investigation for allegedly borrowing 300 million won ($249,000) from a loan shark to place bets on five matches he coached from February and March of this year.
Chun has denied the allegations.