Police in Spain break up tennis match-fixing ring 'involving 28 pros'

Ruben Hill
January 10, 2019

Spanish police have broken up a tennis match-fixing ring that is alleged to involve almost 30 professional players, including one who played in the last US Open.

Professional tennis' anti-corruption body previous year complained about irregular activities at games, including prearranged matches, at the lower-tier ITF Futures and Challenger tournaments.

No names were released by the authorities, who uncovered an Armenian betting ring which they believe bribed athletes to fix matches for gambling purposes after an investigation was launched in 2017 following concerns about irregular activities in tournaments.

European Union law enforcement agency Europol, which supported the operation led by Spanish authorities, says at least 97 matches from lower-tier "Futures" and "Challenger" tournaments were fixed.

Its officers searched 11 addresses in nine Spanish provinces, finding €167,000 (£151,000) in cash, as well as a handgun, stolen identity documents, jewellery, more than 50 electronic devices and five high-end vehicles.

In a statement the Civil Guard said 15 people had been arrested, including the leaders of the criminal organisation, while a further 68 people have been investigated.

Forty-two bank accounts and their balances have been frozen.

Apart from allegedly bribing players, the suspects are accused of using identities of thousands of citizens to bet on the pre-arranged games.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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