NSW police arrest former Australian tennis pro in match-fixing case

20th February 2015 7:58 am GMT

Authorities in the Australian state of New South Wales have arrested two men, and issued a future court attendance notice to a third, following an investigation into alleged match-fixing and corrupt betting during a tennis game.

Strike Force Wilbertree was established by NSW’s Organised Crime Squad’s Casino and Racing Unit last year after information was received from Victoria Police.

Authorities allege that a professional tennis player intentionally lost a match in an entry-level tennis tournament in Queensland in September 2013, while another person successfully bet on the match outcome. Unusual betting activity was detected by a betting agency and reported to authorities.

Inquiries have been conducted by the Tennis Integrity Unit and Victoria Police, before being referred to the NSW Police Force for further investigation.

Officers from the Casino and Racing Unit executed a search warrant on a home at Liberty Grove Thursday, arrested a 26-year old man, who was later charged with facilitating and engaging in conduct that corrupts the betting outcome of an event. He was granted conditional bail to appear at Burwood Local Court on March 12th.

Local media are reporting that Swedish-born Australian former tennis player Nick Lindahl was the 26-year old arrested. He reached a career-high single ranking of 187th place back in 2010.

A 24-year-old man was also arrested and charged with hindering a police investigation. Police claim that he provided false information to officers executing yesterday’s warrant. He has been granted conditional bail and is also due to appear before Burwood Local Court on March 12th.

A third man, aged 25, was issued a court attendance notice for the offence of use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes. He will appear at Belmont Local Court on April 8th.

Scott Cook, commander of the Organised Crime Squad, Detective Superintendent, said that the corruption of sporting events for the purpose of gambling presented a significant risk to the integrity of sport, making it more susceptible to the infiltration and influence of organised crime entities and networks.

“Sporting integrity bodies have a significant role to pay in protecting their sports from infiltration and corruption,” Det Supt Cook said. “Of course the integrity of sport can also be improved when legitimate betting agencies report anomalies in betting around particular sporting events.

“I would encourage betting agencies that detect unusual wagering to report that activity to the relevant sporting integrity body and/or police whenever such instances are detected. Organised crime’s infiltration of legitimate business and markets erodes and destroys those businesses and markets over the long term. It is in everyone's interest to create business practises that are resistant to infiltration of criminal entities, groups and activities.”

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