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Diego Costa 'At The Centre' Of Alleged Betting Scandal, Police Seize £1.77 Million In Cash During Investigation

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Diego Costa 'At The Centre' Of Alleged Betting Scandal, Police Seize £1.77 Million In Cash During Investigation

Former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid star Diego Costa has landed himself in hot water after Brazilian media named him as the footballer at the centre of an alleged betting scandal.

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National press in his homeland have identified Costa, 32, as one of the people being probed by detectives in the state of Sergipe, where he was born.

Local authorities have yet to confirm the identities of those involved in the investigation.

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But they have said a footballer they did not officially name is one of the suspects.

Image: PA
Image: PA

The detectives publicly declared their case on Thursday, claiming they were investigating the practice of alleged crimes including money laundering and foreign exchange fraud.

In a statement via the Daily Mail, Sergipe State Police said: "On Wednesday morning Sergipe State Police launched the second phase of an operation codenamed 'Distraction' with the aim of obtaining evidence for an investigation into the alleged practices of exploitation of gambling, money laundering, foreign currency exchange and criminal association involving the ESPORTENET betting site, its owners, financial operators and financier.

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"In the first phase of the operation, which began on March 3 this year, documents and electronic equipment were seized that allowed the investigation to be deepened and the amount of R$13,129,217.00 - Brazilian real - (£1.77million) in cash was seized.

"Based on the evidence collected, it was possible to identify other betting platforms used by the group and individual companies and legal entities for alleged money laundering and foreign exchange fraud

"The participation of money changers that help the criminal organisation to allegedly commit foreign exchange fraud was verified, as well as the participation of a football player.

"At this stage, the investigation is focused on the foreign exchange fraud, with specific focus on the money changers and the betting site's financier.

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"Seven search and seizure warrants are being executed, two in Itabaiana in Sergipe, one in Lagarto in Sergipe, two in Simao Dias in Segipe, one in Salvador in the state of Bahia and one in Sao Paulo.

"The warrants were issued by a judge sitting at Itabaaina's Sixth Federal Court.

"Warrants for the seizure of property belonging to those involved in the criminal scheme are also being executed."

Costa's club Atletico Mineiro have said they would support him if he asked.

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The player himself hasn't commented on the investigation.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/PA

Topics: Football, Diego Costa

Nasir Jabbar
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