Singaporean charged over alleged bribes offered to fix PBA, Thailand League matches
SINGAPORE—A Singaporean has been accused of offering nearly $70,000 in bribes to fix the results of basketball games in Thailand and the Philippines.
Koa Wei Quan, who was handed 14 graft charges on Thursday in the State Courts in Singapore, is said to have tried to influence games played in the Philippines Basketball Association (PBA) and the Thailand Basketball League between April and July 2018.
The 32-year-old, who used to own transportation firm Koa Motor, had allegedly offered a bribe of US$5,000 (S$6,670) to one Ian Sanggalang on or around April 6, 2018.
The court heard that he worked with two others – Sergei Bien Orillo and Leonidez Zapata Avenido – to arrange for the Magnolia Hotshots to lose their match against the San Miguel Beermen by nine or more points in the PBA Philippine Cup Final Game 5.
Koa is said to have worked with the same pair around 16 days later, when he allegedly offered a bribe of P525,000 (S$13,000) to unknown players from the Blackwater Elite.
It was for the club to win by a four-point margin or less or lose their match against the Columbian Dyip in the PBACommissioner’s Cup.
Prosecutors said Koa worked with Orillo and Avenido again on or around April 25, 2018, and offered a bribe of P1.5 million to unknown players from the same team.
This time it was for a win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters in the PBA by an unspecified margin.
Koa allegedly tried to influence these games while he was in Singapore.
The PBA, through commissioner Willie Marcial, said the league will investigate the allegations.
Marcial declined to comment any further on the matter.
Court documents showed that the former business owner had also tried to influence the results of games in the Thailand Basketball League.
A bribe of US$1,200 was said to be offered to one Almond Pineda Vosotros on or around June 24, 2018, to arrange for the Thai General Equipment basketball club and the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) basketball club to have a 23-point spread in their game.
Prosecutors said the two also engaged in a conspiracy to offer a bribe of US$1,500 to one Jalen Robinson, to arrange for the two teams to have the same outcome.
Koa also allegedly worked with one Poh Wei Hao to give a $1,000 bribe to Vosotros, to arrange for PEA basketball club to lose its match against the Mono Vampire basketball club in a game on July 1, 2018.
Court documents showed Koa and Poh then worked together to offer a bribe of US$1,500 to Vosotros, to arrange for PEA basketball club and the Hi-Tech Assumption Thonburi basketball club to play out a total score of under 165 points during a game six days later.
Koa allegedly continued committing graft-related offences involving games in Thailand until on or around July 22, 2018. He is said to have done this while he was in Thailand and Singapore.
While court documents did not disclose details about the men who were involved in Koa’s graft charges, checks showed these individuals may be involved in basketball leagues in the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore.
Koa’s case has been adjourned to May 18.
If convicted of graft, he can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to $100,000. With reports from INQUIRER.net