By Tony Attwood
The Turkish Organized Crime Department have moved in on individuals seemingly involved in a match-fixing scandal. Around 40 people have been arrested including three club presidents – one of them the president of Fenerbahce.
Two Fenerbahce players, Emmanuel Emenike and Sezer Öztürk, have also been held in custody.
Other footballers arrested include Gençlerbirligi striker Serkan Calik and Ankaragücü goalkeeper Serdar Kulbilge, both Turkish internationals.
Fenerbahce chairman said, “It is quite clearly just the manifestation of a police state. Just which matches are they considering investigating?”
A match-fixing investigation resulted in many arrests last year but this was the first time officials have been arrested. Police have now also searched offices at Beşiktaş, Trabzonspor, and Turkish Football Federation offices early Sunday, according to CNNTürk.
The arrested presidents are accused of “directing a criminal organization, money laundering and criminal activity, repeated fraud over and above the amount of 15,000 euros…extortion by threat of harm, repeated, bribery and corruption in altering the results of matches and participation in illegal betting”.
Meanwhile some 70 people have been arrested in Greece in connection with another match-fixing scandal including two Super League club presidents, plus some club owners, players, referees and a chief of police. In Greece they are accused of illegal gambling, fraud, extortion and money laundering.
The Greek investigation began after Uefa listed over 40 matches in the 2009/10 season with suspicious betting patterns or results..
All those arrested are banned from leaving Greece – and all were trapped through recorded phone conversations.
These events add to arrests and/or investigations in Germany, Argentina, Finland, Hungary, along with internationals involving Estonia and Latvia.