By Chris King • 24 February 2023 • 20:33
Image of a football hitting the back of the net.
As reported by the National Police today, Friday, February 24, six people of Spanish nationality have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the rigging of a Copa del Rey football match.
An investigation had been conducted by the force in collaboration with the Global Investigation Service of the Betting Market (SIGMA) of the Royal Spanish Football Federation and La Liga.
Those arrested reportedly placed bets both online and in person. They allegedly gambled on a specific result in relation to the match played on December 2, 2021, between CD Huracan Melilla and Levante UD. The football clubs were left out of all the investigations from the start.
When the scandal first came to light, Levante assured that it was ‘totally unrelated to the facts denounced’ by LaLiga. Huracan, bottom of Group IX of the Third RFEF, expressed its ‘surprise’ and showed its willingness to collaborate with Justice ‘in everything it needs’ to clarify the complaint.
A total of €30,000 is estimated to have been scooped by the alleged fraudsters. It was uncovered after the police received an alert from the Direccion General de Ordenacion del Juego (General Directorate of Gaming Regulation).
It advised the force of massive betting that had occurred in relation to that match, both online and in person in gambling halls in the autonomous city of Melilla. It was especially noticeable considering the match ended in a 0-8 win and that huge bets had been placed on that specific scoreline.
Following complaints filed by various bookmakers and La Liga, and after receiving information from the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the National Police Centre for Integrity in Sports and Gambling (CENPIDA) of the National Police initiated a complex investigation.
Their investigations culminated in today’s arrest of six Spanish nationals, although it has not been specified where the suspects were detained, as reported by 20minutos.es.
The investigators analysed 77 bets placed in gambling halls in Melilla, with a betting amount of about €6,000 and a total winning amount amounting to €14,000. A huge amount of online bets were placed within three hours of the match starting, all in favour of the away team winning by eight goals to zero.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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