A sports betting company in Paraguay is in the midst of a controversy following a report from the country’s anti money laundering watchdog which went viral in local media.
Aposta.la, the sports betting operator cited in the confidential report from the Secretariat on Prevention of Money Laundering (Seprelad) issued a public statement denying all allegations with illegal activities.
“We strongly deny the claims that both Aposta.la and its partners are linked to any illicit activity.”Official Statement, Aposta.la
The confidential report which somehow was leaked to local media outlet La Nacion after being sent to the Public Ministry claimed that Aposta.la had only 6% of its business conveyed through the banking system.
Further, the watchdog stated that for one year starting from August 2018, Aposta.la awarded over $3.7 million in prize money comprising of 241 prizes but given to just 80 people.
“Several people don’t have the justified solvency to place millionaire bets and win repeatedly.”Seprelad Report
The parent company of Aposta.la Daruma Sam outlined the sports betting operator was following regulatory requirements from day one and will continue to collaborate with authorities until the situation around the report blown out of proportions by the media is fully resolved.
“We reaffirm the constant and timely compliance with the different regulations around sports betting by Aposta.la and its partners. From their first days in the industry they have faithfully complied with them.”Statement, Daruma Sam
Investigation into Aposta.la Dealings Will Continue
The report from Seprelad stated that it would deepen the investigation into the sports betting company to assure it was not used as a front for money laundering from its parent company Daruma Sam and its owner Marco Trovato.
In September 2020, Trovato was dished a life-long ban from all football-related activities by FIFA for match manipulation and no willingness from the then-president of Paraguayan football team Olimpia to cooperate with the investigation.
Trovato, who was found guilty of match manipulation and of “failing to comply with his duty to collaborate during disciplinary proceedings in violation of the FIFA Disciplinary Code”, was also served a CHF 100,000 ($84,300) fine.
FIFA handed the sanction due to a series of suspicious matches of the football team which took place between 2018 and 2019, unbothered by claims from Trovato who compared the investigation with a political trial in which there was neither evidence presented, nor his appeals were taken into account.