Football: Dutch arrest five for illegal gambling racket

17th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

Dutch tax officials have arrested five men suspected of running an illegal large-scale football betting and money laundering racket, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

A six-country investigation led to the arrest of the men, two from The Hague aged 58 and 34, and a third aged 40, who lives in Cyprus but was temporarily in The Hague, the Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

Two other suspects aged, 40 and 49 were arrested elsewhere in the Netherlands, the statement added.

"Three men are suspected of being part of a criminal group in the Netherlands that runs a professional large-scale illegal gambling racket," it said.

A fourth man was suspected of forgery while a fifth of money laundering, prosecutors said.

Dutch authorities launched the probe after a tip-off from Germany that one of the suspects, the 40-year-old man from Cyprus, was allegedly involved in matchfixing in 2008-09.

"Dutch prosecutors investigated the matchfixing claims but so far there has been no evidence," prosecutors said.

During the swoop on homes in the Netherlands and Cyprus, as well as in Austria, Britain, Curacao and Germany, officials confiscated 100,000 euros ($114,000) in cash, cars, luxury goods and Rolex watches.

"The Public Prosecutor's office views gambling without permission in a serious light," the statement said.

"It undermines the financial system and government policy regarding gambling. There is no control over profits... or attempts to manipulate games," it added.

Dutch prosecutors added they saw matchfixing as a priority crime and were working with global policing agencies like Interpol and Europol to fight the scourge.

© 2015 AFP

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