Spanish authorities arrest 28 tennis players in match-fixing probe

The Spanish Civil Guard arrested 83 people in connection

The Spanish Civil Guard arrested 83 people in connection

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.

In a statement the Civil Guard said 15 people had been arrested, including the leaders of the criminal organisation, while a further 68 people have been investigated.

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

One of the 28 professional players took part in the last US Open, authorities revealed.

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 a year ago, also suspected of fixing tennis matches.

Luxury vehicles, a shotgun, credit cards and 167,000 euros (£151,000) in cash were seized.

According to Europol, the EU's law enforcement agency, a total of 42 bank accounts and their balances have also been frozen.

Police said the organised group bribed the players to guarantee predetermined results and used the identities of thousands of citizens to place global bets on the matches.

"Once the bribe had been paid, the Armenians headed for the match venues to use their overwhelming muscle to make sure that the player kept their end of the deal".

Europol said at least 97 matches from lower-tier "Futures" and "Challenger" tournaments were fixed. "They then gave the order for bets to be laid both nationally and internationally".

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

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