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Investigation after man ejected from Crawley Town game on suspicion of illegal betting
A man was thrown out of a football match after being suspected of illegal betting.
The man was believed to have been feeding back information to a third party in an alleged overseas betting syndicate fraud.
Because of the time delay overseas, fraudsters are able to place bets knowing what is going to happen thanks to the individuals inside the stadium.
It was the second time in two months that a spectator has been suspected of illegal gambling during a Crawley Town game.
Crawley's football intelligence officer Darren Taylor said: “A security team were working with us and they represent the Football League.
“It's all intelligence lead and is done based on information fed back to them and to us.
“So within 15 minutes or so of the game an individual was spotted who was known to us and he was spoken to by ourselves and the guys from the Football League.
“He had a book with him with a load of numbers next to actions and incidents that might happen during the game.
“He tried telling us he was just at the football and that he just likes writing things down which was quite clearly not the case.
“The man wasn't arrested, these security teams are looking at the bigger picture.
“It was good to team up with the guys from the football league and it was a good result.
“This sort of thing does not really affect the punter - but nonetheless it is criminal activity.
“These people are defrauding the bookmakers at the end of the day.”
Although the man was not a Crawley Town fan, Mr Taylor admitted it had the potential to cast a shadow over the club's integrity.
He added: “The problem is that there have been some arrests involving match fixing around the county and people assume it's linked.
“These people are not affiliated to the clubs in any way, but it does tarnish the game and looks bad for the club.
“But in reality the players, coaches and fans of both teams won't have the slightest idea about what's going on.
“It is a criminal offence and the football league need to be doing all they can to stamp it out.”
Crawley Town's Policing Team tweeted: “Male detained and spoken to at CTFC v Crewe match today due to illegal match betting information with syndicate. Good work with fraud team.
“Intelligence received suggested persons would be at the Stadium and feeding info back to foreign syndicate. Person id and held at Stadium.
“Ongoing investigation with fraud team and good work with CTFC stewards dealing with male. No place for it in the game #OutOfOrder.”
In February, an almost identical case involving a Chinese man took place at Crawley's away game in Coventry.
Again, the man was not arrested but talked to by fraud officers as part of an ongoing investigation into overseas betting syndicate fraud.
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