Spanish police arrest football club president and players rigging fifth-tier league games in Melilla and Granada
In an operation supported by Europol, officers of the Spanish National Police (Policía Nacional) have arrested 17 members of an organised criminal network engaged in sports corruption. Among the detainees are the president and players of a club playing in the fifth tier of the Spanish football league. The individuals are suspected of manipulating matches and placing large bets on their outcomes. The investigation, which is still ongoing, is focused on matches that were played on the final match day of the season, once the investigated team had been relegated. Upon receiving a large number of bets on specific results and noticing considerable amounts being gambled, bookmakers became suspicious and reported these findings.
Europol supported the Spanish investigators in revealing a complex criminal network engaged in match-fixing, money laundering and document fraud. Allegedly, the team president managed the match-fixing scheme by involving trusted players in the practice. To avoid suspicion, the players relied on third parties such as relatives to place and collect their fraudulent bets. During the investigation, a Europol specialist and an analyst with a mobile office were deployed to Spain to perform real-time cross-checks and assist the investigators with forensic analysis of electronic devices.