Tennis match-fixing ring under Spanish police investigation

Tennis match-fixing ring under Spanish police investigation

European Union police agency Europol report that 11 house searches had been carried out in Spain in which 167,000 euros (roughly $192,000) in cash were seized, along with a shotgun.

Of the 83 people implicated in the case, 28 were professional tennis players, playing in the ITF Futures and Challenger categories, and one whose identity was not revealed competed in the 2018 U.S. Open.

According to the force, those responsible for the alleged fraud were engaged in bribing professional players in order to profit from bets placed on fixed matches.

Fifteen people were arrested at the time, including some of the tennis players.

As many as 28 professional tennis players are being investigated for possible match-fixing offenses, with one player thought to be a Grand Slam star. Fornell-Mestres was ranked 1007th in singles and 772nd in doubles at the end of 2018.

The investigation started in 2017 after the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) grew concerned about "irregular activities" relating to pre-arranged matches in the tournaments.

"A group of Armenian individuals used a professional player who served as the link between them and the other members of the network", the statement said.

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.

Police are also investigating what they suspect are strong links between some of the suspects arrested in Spain and an Armenian-Belgian crime gang broken up by Belgium police previous year, also suspected of fixing tennis matches.

The investigation had resulted in the freezing of 42 bank accounts and the confiscation of various properties.

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