The Prosecutor’s Office wants to end the case opened in the National Court for an alleged fraud in the Christmas Lottery draw on December 22, known as El Gordo. After requesting and analyzing the State Society of State Lottery and Gambling (SELAE) a report on the “incident” that day — when an employee introduced at least one ball with a number into the drum after it went off – The Public Ministry rules out that a crime was committed and asks the magistrate to file the procedure, as ABC has advanced on Monday and legal sources have confirmed to EL PAÍS. As stated in his brief, the “reported anomalies or incidents” do not constitute a criminal offense.
The Central Investigating Court number 6 must now make a decision, after the National Court decided to open proceedings after receiving more than a dozen complaints about possible manipulation of the draw. Although the organization denied the allegations of fraud from the outset, the controversy broke out on December 22, after images were shared on social networks where you can see how the worker introduced the ball by hand. As Loterías said, it fell when it passed from the liras (the wires in which the balls are) to the hopper (the transparent container used to bring them to the drum).
A thesis that supports the public ministry, which has analyzed two incidents. On the one hand, two balls that came out of the hopper and were inserted again by the SELAE staff manually. “In the video it is clearly seen how the balls that fall out are immediately inserted back into it. Incidence that had already occurred, without any consequence, in other draws, as evidenced in the recordings for the years 2010, 2015 and 2017, ”explains the Prosecutor’s Office to rule out the existence of the crime, before also rejecting fraud in the second “anomaly” detected —an employee inserted another ball into the large drum, “having previously delivered the ball by other workers”.
“One of the circumstances foreseen in the process of introducing the balls into the drums is that some of them can bounce towards the outside. In this case, the established protocol indicates that the responsible operator must proceed to manually enter it. That circumstance was what happened, “Loterías defended himself through a statement as soon as the controversy erupted. Thesis that the Prosecutor’s Office also recovers in its brief to request the file: “In the legal and technical regulations for holding the National Lottery draws, [the possibility] of one or several balls falling in the operations prior to the raffle, in which case it is necessary to locate them for incorporation into the rest of them. If this is not possible, we will proceed to replace all the balls with the spare set ”.
But, for now, these explanations have not been enough. After receiving the complaints, the National Court considered that “it is appropriate to accept the competence of these proceedings by this central investigative court number six and to agree on those of evidence interested by the prosecutor.” To clarify what happened, the judge then requested a report from SE LAE and to send him the images of the “incident”. Now the magistrate has the floor.