Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Spain arrests 83 people, including 28 players, in fixing probe

Spain arrests 83 people, including 28 players, in fixing probe

Spanish police arrested 83 people, including 28 professional tennis players, involved in "manipulation of professional tennis competitions", Europol said in a statement on Thursday.

Law enforcement officials in Spain have arrested 28 professional tennis players in an investigation into match-fixing.

"Those now under arrest ran the money through different accounts before finally transferring it to those under their control, always using false names", said police.

No other names had been immediately disclosed by authorities. Fornell-Mestres was ranked 1007th in singles and 772nd in doubles at the end of 2018.

Forty-two bank accounts have also been frozen.

It was a warning by the Tennis Integrity Unit in 2017 that prompted Spanish authorities to begin the investigation.

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

According to BBC, the Civil Guard added that "once they got the bribe, the Armenian members went to the places where the matches were being played to make sure the player went through with what they had agreed, making the most of their imposing size".

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

Gang members would attend the matches to ensure the player complied with the prearranged results. In the Belgium case, police announced in June the arrest of 13 people in Belgium and said the gang also targeted lower-level tennis matches.

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