Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
Police Bust Illegal Betting and Match-Fixing Ring Using Advanced Technology

Police have successfully cracked down on a suspected illegal betting and match-fixing ring that employed advanced technology to obtain match results before bookmakers did. The investigation originally began in 2020 when Spanish authorities identified a criminal network consisting of Romanians and Bulgarians. This network had been placing suspicious bets on international table tennis events.

The criminal group would corrupt athletes, including some who played for football teams in Romania, and then make large bets on the outcomes of the matches. However, the investigation uncovered another tactic used by the organized crime gang. They utilized satellite technology to receive live feeds from games before the information reached legitimate bookmakers, allowing them to have prior knowledge of the results.

The gang mainly targeted Asian and South American soccer leagues, Bundesliga games, the UEFA Nations League, the 2022 Qatar World Cup, and ATP and ITF tennis tournaments. To avoid suspicion, they placed their bets in the names of other individuals who collected the winnings on their behalf. Additionally, the group allegedly corrupted a trader at a major betting company in order to ensure the successful validation of their bets.

Spanish authorities spearheaded the operation with support from Europol, Interpol, the Spanish Tax Agency, and Romanian Police. A total of 23 suspects, including the suspected leader of the organization, were arrested. The operation involved searches of four houses, resulting in the seizure of two properties, three luxury vehicles, two large satellite dishes and signal receivers, 47 bank accounts, 80 phones, cash, and €13,000 in counterfeit banknotes.

Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock emphasized the importance of closing even the smallest gaps that organized crime groups exploit. He commended the successful operation led by Spain and highlighted the commitment to supporting law enforcement in such cases.