Five Held By Dutch Police On Gambling Ring Charges

Allegations of match-fixing associated with illegal betting enterprise

The Dutch police have carried out a series of raids following the arrest of five men accused of running an illegal sports betting enterprise and money laundering.

The arrests evolved from an original six-country investigation into match-fixing in football, sources told the AFP news agency.

Those arrested included two men from The Hague aged 58 and 34, and a third aged 40, who lives in Cyprus but was temporarily in The Hague, the Prosecutor's Office said in a statement Tuesday. Two other suspects aged, 40 and 49 were arrested elsewhere in the Netherlands.

"Three men are suspected of being part of a criminal group in the Netherlands that runs a professional large-scale illegal gambling racket," the official statement declared. A fourth man was suspected of forgery while a fifth of money laundering, prosecutors said.

During police raids on homes in the Netherlands and Cyprus, as well as in Austria, Britain, Curacao and Germany, officials confiscated Euro100,000 in cash, cars, luxury goods and Rolex watches.

"The Public Prosecutor's office views gambling without permission in a serious light," the statement said. "It undermines the financial system and government policy regarding gambling. There is no control over profits… or attempts to manipulate games," it added.

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