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Police dismantle giant sports betting fraud that fixed results and ‘delayed’ live satellite tv pictures to fool bookmakers in Spain – Olive Press News Spain


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75 members of a sports betting syndicate that duped bookmakers have been arrested by the Policia Nacional and the Tax Agency in association with Europol and Interpol.

The first phase of the police operation saw 22 people detained in the Madrid, Guadalajara, and Zaragoza areas, who made up to €2 million from laying down bets.

The second phase saw an additional 53 arrests of people who acted as ‘mules’ for the international gang by providing their personal identifications or other information on different betting platforms in exchange for money.


The organisation had two strings to its bow: either rigging sports contests or intercepting satellite tv images to bookmakers, who were unaware they were not getting live coverage of an event.

The gang used a sophisticated technological system to defraud the bookmakers by intercepting satellite feeds and delaying them so that bets could be placed with results being known, except to the bookie.

Inquiries started in 2020 when the Policia Nacional detected a series of suspicious online sports bets, made on international table tennis sporting events.

Investigations uncovered a criminal network of Romanian and Bulgarian origin, based in Spain, which had the ability to bribe competitors from their country of origin.

Events were rigged and bookmakers were also cheated with the ‘delayed’ pictures using the state-of-the-art technology

The gang created a complex criminal network to launder the money obtained from gambling.

Once an event was chosen to bet heavily on, it was carried it out online en masse via ‘mules’ living in Spain.

Officers found the organisation had hundreds of identities that it used to place bets and win big prizes in the name of third parties that, apparently, were collected by different people but actually gang members.

They also used both cryptocurrencies and payment gateways as a regular means of financial operations, made it difficult to trace any bets,

The group controlled over 1,500 gaming accounts.

Items seized in searches included numerous computer equipment, 80 telephone terminals, two big satellite dishes and signal receivers, a high-end vehicle, €5,500 in cash and €13,000 in counterfeit banknotes.

In addition, the police seized a large number of bank cards and documentation in the name of third parties, and more than 200 prepaid SIM cards from different telephone companies.

47 bank accounts, 28 accounts on payment gateways and €400,000 in cryptocurrencies have also been blocked.


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