Gardaí have released without charge half of those arrested earlier today over alleged football match-fixing in the League of Ireland.
10 men, aged from their early 20s to 60s, were arrested on Wednesday by detectives and detained on suspicion of the offence of conspiracy to defraud contrary to common law.
Current and former League of Ireland footballers, including some who have played professionally, were among those arrested, according to a report in The Irish Times.
On Wednesday evening, gardaí said five of the arrested men had been released without charge, with a file to be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
“The five other arrested males remain in custody this evening. Investigations are ongoing,” a Garda statement said.
The Garda operation which led to the arrests, titled Brookweed, focused on the Dublin metropolitan area and the Garda’s southern region, which comprises Cork, Kerry and Limerick.
Undertaken by the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Unit within the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, Operation Brookweed was described as a “day of action” against match-fixing.
The operation stemmed from an investigation carried out by detectives attached to the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Unit in 2019.
That investigation was prompted by reports of suspected match-fixing received from the Football Association of Ireland and Union of European Football Associations.
Commenting on Wednesday’s operation, Detective Superintendent Catharina Gunne, from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, said: “Match-fixing and corruption is a threat to all sports at all levels and undermines public confidence in the fairness of sport.
“It can allow organised crime to infiltrate sport in order to use it to make illicit gains or launder proceeds of crime.”
Gardaí have appealed to anyone with information about alleged match-fixing or sports corruption to contact them.
They can make a report in confidence to the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Confidential Reporting line – 1800 40 60 80 – or to their local Garda station.