PROS: At least 28 professional tennis players are thought to be involved in the match-fixing racket, including one who played at the US Open

SPANISH police have arrested 15 people in a tennis match-fixing investigation involving 28 professional players.

An Armenian criminal gang are thought to be the brains behind the sports scam, which sees 83 people placed under investigation in total.

Guardia Civil agents have confirmed that one of the players involved played at last year’s US Open, while another player was named as Spaniard Marc Fornell-Mestres.

CUFFED: One of those arrested by police was Spaniard Marc Fornell-Mestres

Europol and the National High Court of Spain have assisted the Guardia Civil in raids on 11 houses on Thursday.

Authorities have frozen 42 bank accounts and seized €167,000, 50 electronic devices, five luxury vehicles, credit cards, documents and a shotgun.

“Our officers have proved the group had been operating since February 2017 and estimate that they had earned millions of euros through the operation,” said a Guardia Civil spokesperson.

The probe began when the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) noted strange activities during matches at the Challenger and ITF Futures tournaments.

Europol claim that 97 matches at these competitions were fixed, as players are alleged to have taken bribes in return for influencing certain results.

“The suspects bribed professional players to guarantee predetermined results and used the identities of thousands of citizens to bet on the prearranged games,” the law enforcement agency said.

The Armenian gang are believed to have bribed the unidentified players at the national and international level.

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