Spanish police arrest 17 over match-fixing allegations

Team players are alleged to have used third parties to place bets.
Team players are alleged to have used third parties to place bets.

Those arrested include football players and managers.

Spain.- Police in Spain have arrested 17 people in relation to an investigation into match-fixing in Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) matches. Those arrested are reported to include managers and players from a third-division team.

Police said the arrests were made as part of a collaborative operation with the European law enforcement body Europol and the Spanish football association LaLiga. Some 11 people were arrested in the north African enclave of Melilla while six people were arrested in Granada, in Andalusia, mainland Spain.

The investigation was launched after Spain’s national gambling regulator, the DGOJ, informed police that it had received several match-fixing alerts about bets made in Melilla on football matches involving a local team. LaLiga said that suspicions had also been raised through its reporting process, noting previously suspected match-fixing at the Melilla team, as well as a misuse of subsidies.

Police announced the start of an investigation in May. They say inquiries led them to discover a criminal organisation involving the president of the Melilla team, who they allege facilitated match-fixing and involved the team’s players. The players are said to have used third parties to avoid being linked to bets.

Seven specific matches are being investigated, but more arrests are not expected. Police said that they cannot yet estimate how much money was defrauded from betting operators.

See also: Spanish GGR rises 51% year-on-year

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