European crime agency Europol has revealed that the Spanish police have arrested 83 people connected to a criminal gang involved in tennis match-fixing, and according to reports, a number of tennis professionals have been caught up in the investigation.
In its report, Europol states that 28 professional tennis players have been implicated, including one player who took part in the last US Open, in 2018.
The investigation began in 2017 at the instigation of the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) which had reported unusual betting patterns in matches on the ‘ITF Futures and Challenger’ Tours.
According to Europol, the gang bribed professional tennis players, aiming to arrange predetermined results. With the bribe in place, the gang would then use thousands of people to place bets on the fixed games, in the knowledge that the result had already been decided.
The report detailed the methods used by the gang, which was said to be made up of Armenian nationals:
“Once they bribed the players, the Armenian network members attended the matches to ensure that the tennis players complied with what was previously agreed, and gave orders to other members of the group to go ahead with the bets placed at national and international level.”
Europol became involved as the match-fixing activity took place across a number of European jurisdictions, and Spanish police forces were assisted with data analysis, suspect verifications and forensic support by the European agency.
Image sourced from 123RF.