19 September 2023

Police dismantle match-fixing gang that used satellites to hijack live feeds of sports events


Police dismantle match-fixing gang that used satellites to hijack live feeds of sports events

A criminal network that used advanced technology to capture live streams of sports events has been dismantled as part of a joint law enforcement operation conducted by Spain’s authorities and Romanian police in coordination with Europol and Interpol.

The gang comprised of Romanian and Bulgarian nationals, who operated from Spain, used satellites to intercept live feeds of competitions before they reached the betting houses. This allowed the criminals to place sure online bets knowing the results of the matches in advance.

The scammers targeted Asian and South American soccer leagues, the Bundesliga, the UEFA Nations League, the 2022 Qatar World Cup, and the ATP and ITF tennis tournaments. To avoid suspicion, the fraudsters placed their bets in the names of other people, who collected the gains on their behalf.

Besides this, the group corrupted several footballers from different teams in Romania and shared information about the fixed matches with other fixers.

The police arrested 23 suspected members of the group, including its alleged boss, and a trader who validated bets for the gang. The authorities also seized real estate properties, luxury vehicles, satellite dishes and signal receivers, 47 bank accounts, 80 phones, cash and EUR 13 000 in counterfeit banknotes.


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