Five Armenians have been charged in Belgium with corruption, money laundering and other crimes as part of a major international investigation into match-fixing in tennis, Belgian federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
They were among 13 people detained in Belgium on Tuesday amid simultaneous raids also launched in the US, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Slovakia and the Netherlands.
An investigating judge in Belgium issued an arrest warrant for five people, “all of Armenian nationality,” the federal prosecutor's office said.
“They were charged with corruption, money laundering, forgery and membership of a criminal organisation.”
The judge ordered the release of the eight other people following questioning, the office said.
The raids were part of an international probe into an Armenian-Belgian criminal network suspected of bribing players to throw games.
Belgian prosecutors said the matches involved were on the low-level Futures and Challenger circuits, away from the gaze of television coverage and where meagre prize money leaves players susceptible to backhanders.