53 more people arrested in Spanish sports betting fraud ring worth €2 million

Policeman handcuffs suspect

Spanish police have arrested another 53 people with links to a sophisticated sports betting fraud gang. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Another step in the right direction

Police officers have arrested another 53 people suspected of being involved in a major sports betting fraud gang in Spain. Spanish police and the country’s tax authority worked with Interpol and Europol to arrest the suspects.

In the initial phase last year, officers arrested 22 people. These people were allegedly the leaders of the scheme and made a profit of about 2 million euros (US$2.2 million).

allegedly worked as mules for the illegal operation

Another 53 people were recently taken into custody in Guadalajara and Madrid as part of the second wave of arrests. They allegedly worked as mules for the illegal operation, allowing the ringleaders to use their personal information in exchange for cash for online betting accounts.

Deceived sports betting providers

The illegal operation blocked sporting events and intercepted streams to sportsbooks that thought they were broadcasting the event live. The group used advanced technology to delay the broadcasts, allowing the ringleaders to place bets before the sportsbook found out about the latest promotion. After profiting from the delayed streams, the gang then laundered the money.

The criminal group is said to have recorded events in 20 different countries and across a range of sports.

Authorities began investigating the criminal enterprise back in 2020 after noticing some suspicious online table tennis betting. This led to the discovery of the system in Spain, which was operated largely by people from Bulgaria and Romania.

A major operation

The criminals used the personal information of hundreds of people to place bets and controlled around 1,500 accounts. The use of various payment gateways and cryptocurrencies made it difficult for investigators to track betting activity and track down the funds.

over 200 prepaid SIM cards found

In raids on four homes last year, police seized computers, some large satellite dishes, 80 telephone terminals, counterfeit money worth 13,000 euros ($14,120), cash worth 5,500 euros ($5,974) and signal receivers. They also found over 200 prepaid SIM cards.

Authorities blocked about 400,000 euros ($434,460) worth of cryptocurrencies, 28 payment gateway accounts and 47 bank accounts.


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