Europol Crushes Armenian Gang of Former Tennis Players who Made Money Betting on Fixed Matches
The Belgian police conducted 21 searches in a few communes of East Flanders as part of the investigation into the activities of an organized criminal group with Belgian and Armenian members. The Belgian federal prosecutor's office runs the investigation.
According to the local newspaper La Libre Belgique, 13 people were detained for interrogations, and they might be locked up.
It has been established that the group was created in 2014 and included some professional tennis players. The criminals made money betting on fixed matches. The investigation began in 2015 when the gambling commission had received several reports from bookmakers that some Armenians living in Belgium were involved in fixed tennis matches.
The newspaper specifies that the bets were made on games in secondary tournaments that are generally not video recorded, and the players are more prone to bribery. All the group members have roughly the same social characteristics: no job and no income declared.
Europol backed the operation to crush the group. Investigations were simultaneously conducted in Bulgaria, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, the United States and France.