Police have smashed a multi-million dollar match-fixing ring centred around the Victorian Premier League, with 10 people arrested.
In what may be the biggest case of match-fixing in Australian sport, the people, believed to be players and staff members from the one VPL club, were allegedly involved in an international match-fixing ring worth $2 million dollars.
According to police, the operation by the Purana Task Force and the Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit commenced last August after Football Federation Australia (FFA) provided information to police regarding concerns surrounding unusual betting activities.
The 10 people consist of players and staff members from a single club, with the majority of the players coming from the United Kingdom and playing in Australia during the off-season.
“Further match-fixing risks are imminent in Australia, partly because of localised overseas betting on Australian sporting events due to our favourable time zone,” said Victoria deputy police commissioner Graham Ashton in a media release on Sunday.
“It is vital that we continue gathering intelligence to take preventative action to make it difficult for organised crime to infiltrate our sporting codes.
“Our Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit plays an important role in this space and will continue to conduct high level intelligence investigations across a range of serious organised and emerging crime within the sporting and racing industries.
“It’s believed there has been estimated betting winnings in Australia and overseas of more than $2 million identified to date in connection with this particular operation.
“We will continue to work with the relevant sporting codes and the Australian Crime Commission to create an environment that is hostile to those seeking to engage in illegal activities involving our sporting codes.”
Those arrested are expected to face match-fixing charges, which can attract a 10-year maximum penalty.