Tennis and betting, betting and tennis. Again. The Civil Guard has dismantled a criminal organization dedicated to bribing professional tennis players in the framework of the Operation Bitures. The aforementioned organization acted in coordinating massive bets in tournaments of the Futures and Challenger categories. So far 15 people have been arrested, among which are the leaders of the band, and there are a total of 83 involved, of which 28 are professional tennis players. Specifically, one of them played in the last edition of the US Open, the fourth Grand Slam of the season.
The Civil Guard carried out the operation upon receiving a complaint from the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), the organ of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) that supervises and investigates irregularities in the sport of racquetball. From that moment, the magnifying glass was placed on a Spanish tennis player and progressively the entire network was discovered, in which a group of Armenians resorted to a player to mediate between them and the rest of the network.
Apparently, according to sources that El Pais has had access to, the organization usurped thousands of identities of citizens to place bets. Once they had bribed the professional, the group attended the tournament to certify that the player complied with the agreement. The band operated at least since February 2017 and the Civil Guard estimates that since then it has been able to generate very considerable profits.
In the Operation Bitures 11 simultaneous domiciliary searches were carried out in nine Spanish provinces, involving 167,000 euros in cash, a small weapon, documents of usurped identities, computers, jewelery, credit cards and high-end vehicles. In addition, 42 bank accounts and several properties have been intervened and blocked.
The operation has been carried out by agents belonging to the Economic Crimes Team of the Judicial Police Organic Unit of the Civil Guard Command of Madrid, with the support of the European Police Office (EUROPOL) and the Treasury. The operation has been coordinated by the Central Court of Instruction number 5 of the National Court.