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

Europol show some of the items seized as part of a raid on an alleged tennis match-fixing ring

Spanish police have broken up a tennis match-fixing ring that is alleged to involve almost 30 professional players, including one who played in the last US Open.

Spanish police conducted 11 raids on houses as part of the operation, leading to 15 arrests, including a number of players.

Additionally, more than 50 electronic devices, credit cards, five luxury vehicles and documentation related to the case were also seized and forty-two bank accounts have also been frozen.

The Armenian gang bribed players into fixing matches, according to authorities.

Police accused Spaniard player Marc Fornell-Mestres, whose highest career singles ranking was 236th in 2007, of acting as the link between players and the Armenian ring that bribed them.

Fornell-Mestres was ranked 1007th in singles and 772th in doubles at the end of 2018.

Europol, the European Union law enforcement agency, played a supporting role in the operation and said that at least 97 matches from "Futures" and "Challenger" tournaments were fixed.

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The investigation had resulted in the freezing of 42 bank accounts and the confiscation of various properties.

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.

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

Gang members would attend the matches to ensure the player complied with the prearranged results.

Spanish police are leading an investigation into match-fixing in tennis, with 83 people suspected of being involved in the ring.

"In total 83 suspects were arrested, 28 of them are professional players", it added.

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