According to Spanish police, eleven arrests are expected to be made as part of an ongoing raid, which has come following an investigation into match-fixing within the country’s top three football divisions. Within that group of people, both former and current La Liga players will be arrested by the police, and the operation is taking place in several different regions of Spain.
Known as operation “Oikos”, the raids came about after the court in Huesca looked into various pieces of evidence relating to gambling-motivated match-fixing. Speaking of the operation, the police in Spain released a statement saying that agents are in the process of carrying out moves against a specific organisation that has allegedly been involved in professional football match-fixing.
The statement went on to say that “eleven people are expected to be detained”, before highlighting that some of those would be current and former players from the first division, while club presidents and executives were also mentioned.
“The investigation has allowed us to corroborate that those investigated reached agreements with different players to ‘fix’ at least three games…”, the statement continued, pointing out that this had occurred in the first three divisions of the Spanish league. It finished off by stating that at least one of those fixed games from the second division, had a very strong impact where sports bets were concerned. Bookies registered a volume of money that was 14x higher than what is considered the norm for the second division.
The News Breaks
According to one Spanish news agency, two of the people arrested are involved heavily as players for La Liga teams, although the raids do not concern the top clubs in the country.
La Liga filed a claim during last season’s league game that took place between Nastic Tarragona and SD Huesca. This claim pointed out suspected irregularities relating to the penultimate round of the Segunda Division. Huesca lost in a 1-0 game at their home ground against Tarragona, with the latter being a team that was battling to avoid being relegated. However, with vast bets coming from both Asia and Ukraine during the game, suspicions were triggered.
Around 30 betting companies proceeded to suspend all bets and quotes on the game, following the detection of the large bets being placed on a 0-0 result by the half-time mark, but a Nastic win by the end of the match.
According to Francesco Baranca, who operates as the General Director of Federbet, “unusual betting activity” was taking place during that game. Federbet is an anti-match-fixing company, and Baranca suspected that profit of at least €10 million was made from the outcome of the second division match.
Commenting on the raids, La Liga said in a statement that it wanted to highlight the “extraordinary work” that the Spanish police are doing to be able to dismantle any organised criminal group that managed to attain financial benefits via match-fixing.
It was on May 29, 2018 that La Liga reported the Segunda Division game between the two football teams. Continuing on its statement, La Liga said that the police operation “highlights the systems of protecting the integrity that La Liga put in place five seasons ago…”. It finished off by saying that it will continue to work towards the complete prevention of match-fixing and proceed with thorough investigations to ensure that games are kept clean.