15 arrested for fixing tennis matches

January 11, 2019 | Brainwave Science

 

SITUATION

The Spanish Police have arrested 15 people in an investigation into a tennis match-fixing case by an Armenian gang. 83 persons have been implicated by the Spanish Civil Guard. Among the 83, 28 are players from the ITF Futures and Challenger Tours.

The Spanish Civil Guard carried out a series of raids in coordination with the National High Court of Spain and Europol on 11 houses on Thursday following an investigation into the Armenian gang.

One of those arrested is Spanish tennis player Marc Fornell-Mestres, 36. He was ranked 1007th in singles at the end of 2018 and was suspended by the Tennis Integrity Unit last month as part of an anti-corruption probe.

In the raids, cash amounting to €167,000 (£151,000 or USD 193,450) was seized. Other items recovered include a shotgun, around 50 electronic devices, credit cards, five luxury vehicles and multiple documents. The authorities have frozen 42 bank accounts.

This investigation began as early as 2017 when the Tennis Integrity Unit had concerns about “irregular activities” in connection with matches at ITF Futures and Challenger tournaments.

Professional players are believed to have accepted bribes in return for fixing results.

A professional tennis player is believed to be a link between the Armenian gang and the rest of the criminal group. The identities of persons being investigated have not been revealed.

CHALLENGE

A joint BBC and BuzzFeed News investigation uncovered suspected illegal betting on tennis matches in January 2016. The investigation developed into a much wider inquiry looking into a web of gamblers linked to top-level players. Over the last decade, 16 players who have ranked in the top 50 have been repeatedly flagged to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) over suspicions they have thrown matches. In fact, an inquiry team, through a confidential report in 2008 said that 28 players involved in betting should be investigated.

Also, a new anti-corruption code was introduced in 2009. However, previous corruption offenses could not be pursued under this code. No new investigations into the players mentioned in the 2008 report were re-opened. Read more here.

The European Sports Security Association has declared that tennis attracts more suspicious gambling activity than other sport.

The challenge remains that the TIU has a full-time staff of just five and relies on intelligence from players and betting companies to alert them to potential corruption.

It is highly debatable whether enough resources are directed towards the TIU, and another potential flaw is that representatives from the sport’s four governing bodies decide whether the evidence gathered is strong enough to be presented to an independent hearing. Professional Tennis Integrity Officers from the ITF, ATP, WTA, and the Grand Slams make that call, and as a result, the process is not as transparent as it should be.
Corruption in tennis is indeed an issue. In 2011, the former world No. 55 Austrian tennis player, Daniel Kelleher, became the first tennis player to be banned for life for attempting to fix matches.
Tennis as a sport, its players, its spectators, the TIU and investigative agencies will be greatly benefitted if they have the help of an intelligence gathering tool which can help identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent.

WHY ICOGNATIVE?

15 persons have been arrested and 83 have been implicated. It is incredible that there exists a technology which can gather much more information from a suspect than conventional interrogation methods, that too in a non-invasive, non-torturous manner. The use of the technology can be easily taught to and quickly mastered by law enforcement officials across the world.

iCognative by Brainwave Science has taken forensic science to the next level. Law enforcement agencies have always wanted to tap into the mind of a suspect’s mind and ‘read’ the hidden clues which might link her or him to a crime. iCognative is a technology which gives superpowers to the investigative agencies.

It is ahead of its times and it is available today.

iCognative is a breakthrough technology which is applicable to more than 85% of the criminal and civil cases. This is unlike DNA and conventional fingerprinting which is only applicable to around 1-2% of the cases.

There is no way to completely stop crime, but iCognative helps to ensure that crimes are solved by uncovering whether a suspect is aware of certain crime-specific information or not.

Moreover, if the criminals know that there is a scientific technique which can detect the presence of crime-specific information in their minds, it might as well deter them from committing further crimes.

The 15 arrested persons might contain a plethora of information regarding the fixing of tennis matches, but conventional interrogation techniques will be limited when it comes to eliciting useful information from them. Here iCognative can help in easily and accurately determining if crime-specific information rests in the minds of these arrested persons. iCognative relies on inputted stimuli in the form of images, words, and phrases. These are usually related to the gathered evidence of a crime.

In this case, the stimuli can be details of the Armenian gang members who have been calling the shots, details of the cash, weapons, credit cards, and the frozen bank accounts, all of which are now known by the law enforcement agencies.

iCognative is that technology which every investigative agency in the world has been waiting for. Unlike DNA, which is only applicable in 1-2% of cases, iCognative is applicable in 85% -90% of criminal and civil cases. Intelligence agencies require quality intelligence and data, coupled with speedy processing in order to solve complex crimes. iCognative is a tool which can fulfill all these criteria. Customizable, non-invasive, portable and easy to use: iCognative is the tool which the TIU and allied investigative agencies have been looking for in the quest to cleanse the sporting world.

Main Source: BBC