Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
Dismantling of Organized Crime Group Exploiting Satellite Technology for Betting Advantage

An international operation led by INTERPOL, Europol, and the Spanish Police has successfully dismantled a highly sophisticated and organized crime group that used satellite technology to gain an unfair advantage in betting. The syndicate manipulated sporting events by exploiting the time delay in high-definition feeds transmitted from stadiums to television screens worldwide.

The investigation, which began in 2020, was supported by Romanian and Spanish national police, as well as the Spanish tax agency. The criminal network primarily targeted high-profile sporting events like the 2022 World Cup, using their knowledge of the 20 to 30-second delay in HD feeds to make informed bets and secure significant gains.

During the operation, authorities executed search warrants on four houses and seized two properties, two large satellite dishes and signal receivers, three luxury vehicles, 47 bank accounts, 80 cellphones, cash, and counterfeit banknotes totaling approximately €13,000.

The syndicate bribed athletes, including players from Romanian football teams, to fix matches based on their deals. They also recruited individuals to place bets on their behalf and collect winnings to avoid suspicion. Additionally, the gang bribed a trader from a prominent betting firm to ensure their bets were validated without raising any red flags.

Investigators discovered that the group used satellite technology to receive live feeds from games before legitimate bookmakers had access to the information, allowing them to place bets with prior knowledge of the match outcomes. They targeted various sports events, including football leagues in South America and Asia, the UEFA Nations League, Bundesliga games, 2022 Qatar World Cup matches, and ITF and ATP tennis tournaments.

This successful operation emphasizes the commitment of law enforcement agencies to combat organized crime in the betting industry. The cooperation between international authorities and the use of advanced technology has led to the dismantling of this sophisticated crime group, ensuring a fairer and more secure betting environment.