Europol crushes Armenian gang of former tennis players that made money betting on fixed matches
The criminal group consisted of 13 members and operated in Belgium.
The Belgian police conducted 21 searches in a few communes of East Flanders as part of the investigation into the activities of an organized criminal group with Belgian and Armenian members. The Belgian federal prosecutor's office runs the investigation.
According to the local newspaper La Libre Belgique, 13 people were detained for interrogations, and they might be locked up.
It has been established that the group was created in 2014 and included some professional tennis players. The criminals made money betting on fixed matches. The investigation began in 2015 when the gambling commission had received several reports from bookmakers that some Armenians living in Belgium were involved in fixed tennis matches.
The newspaper specifies that the bets were made on games in secondary tournaments that are generally not video recorded, and the players are more prone to bribery. All the group members have roughly the same social characteristics: no job and no income declared.
Europol backed the operation to crush the group. Investigations were simultaneously conducted in Bulgaria, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovakia, the United States and France.
It concerns entrepreneur Dmitry Motorin, Boris Usherovich, a co-owner of the Group of Companies 1520, and Novoe Vremya board member, Ivan Stankevich. Motorin is accused of giving a bribe on an especially large scale, and Stankevich and Usherovich are charged with bribe-taking.
This week, the judicial debates in the trial of Vladimir Barsukov-Kumarin charged with creation of Tambovskie organized criminal group have been finished in the Kuibyshevsky District Court of St. Petersburg. If the court upholds the stance of the state prosecution, the once-influential criminal ‘authority’ may be convicted to almost 25 years behind bars. In reality, this translates into a life term for the legend of criminal St. Petersburg.