Europol reveals results of major match-fixing investigation
The European police agency Europol revealed at a news conference today that an 18-month-long investigation into match fixing has uncovered more than 380 suspicious matches.
Europol director Rob Wainwright said "This is the work of a suspected organised crime syndicate based in Asia and operated with criminal networks around Europe. It is clear to us this is the biggest-ever investigation into suspected match-fixing in Europe. It has yielded major results which we think have uncovered a big problem for the integrity of football in Europe” as BBC quotes him.
Wainwright also argued that the involvement of organised crime "highlights a big problem for the integrity of football in Europe", writes Sky Sports.
The investigations began 18 months ago and ended up looking into 700 matches in 30 countries. The investigation revealed attempts to fix around 380 professional matches, and a total of 425 suspects were identified, including match officials, club officials, players and criminals, across 15 countries. So far 50 people have been arrested.
Europol’s investigation has uncovered €8 millions of betting profits generated by match-fixing in Germany alone and at least €2 million paid in bribes to those involved.
In the run up to the news conference, Canadian author and match-fixing expert Declan Hill commended the investigators on their work, but added that:
“The networks that the police have identified in superb investigations is, for the most part, linked to Asian fixers. Dan Tan is the alleged leading figure of these fixers. The Singapore government has refused to serve an arrest warrant against him. They have given him literally months of time to possibly destroy evidence and phone records.”
“For Europol to be taken as a credible investigation one of their officials must state their frustration with the Singaporeans. Otherwise, they have only identified half the network,” Declan Hill stated on his blog.