— Published 11 October 2021

WBSC in the sights of San Marino’s justice system

Riccardo Fraccari is facing a storm. According to Libertas.sm, a San Marino-based news website, the Italian leader and the World Baseball and Softball Confederation (WBSC), of which he has been president since its creation in April 2013, are being investigated for money laundering. The case began with a complaint from the Panama federation about the price of official balls for international matches, supplied by the San Marino-based company Teammate. It led to a tax investigation, which established that the price paid for these balls was indeed much higher than their market value. The San Marino authorities first seized the sum of 2 million euros from the WBSC’s headquarters in Lausanne, a gesture that was quickly reversed. But a second seizure of €258,300 is still pending a court decision on money laundering charges against the WBSC and its president. According to the international baseball and softball body’s lawyer, Elia Santi, there is no evidence in the case to link the sale of the sports equipment in Panama to the WBSC’s management team. Nor is there any evidence that the commercial transaction was irregular. The judge therefore deemed the contested provision illegitimate, ordering its annulment as well as the immediate return to WBSC of the sum of 258,300 euros.