FILE - This is a 2017 file photo showing the shadow of a tennis player. Four people are in French custody on suspicion of fixing matches for an Armenian based in Belgium believed behind an illegal gambling syndicate suspected of fixing hundreds of matches. It’s part of months of digging by police working across Europe to unravel a match-fixing scheme of breath-taking scale involving more than 100 players from at least half a dozen countries.
Sources close to the investigation told The Associated Press that four French players were in police custody on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/File)

AP Interview: Europol ties together tennis match-fixer rings

January 17, 2019 - 9:55 am

PARIS (AP) — European police agency Europol says it has identified links between match-fixing gambling syndicates being unraveled in Spain and Belgium that are thought to have paid off dozens of players and corrupted lower-level tennis tournaments on a massive scale.

Pedro Felicio, who heads Europol's Economic and Property Crime unit, said there are "strong indications" the fixers were also involved in volleyball, beach volleyball, and basketball. Felicio spoke exclusively to The Associated Press, in a phone interview.

European police investigators are still trying to determine the extent to which syndicates broken up last year in Spain and Belgium may have worked together.

However, Felicio said cross-checks of suspects' names, their contacts, company details, places and people they frequented and phone records pointed to ties.

He said: "We see these links. They exist."

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