HomeEntertainmentCelebritiesEx-Chelsea star Diego Costa involved in alleged betting scandal as police investigate

Ex-Chelsea star Diego Costa involved in alleged betting scandal as police investigate

Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been named as the footballer at the centre of an alleged betting scandal being probed by police.

The 32-year-old striker, currently playing for Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro, has been identified by national press in his homeland as the one of the people being investigated by detectives in the state of Sergipe where he was born.

Police have yet to confirm the identities of those they believe are involved in the alleged wrongdoing.

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

Detectives went public with their operation on Thursday, saying they were probing the practice of alleged crimes including money laundering and foreign exchange fraud involving online betting site Esportenet.

Diego Costa of Atletico MG celebrates a scored goal against Sport Recife during a match between Atletico MG and Sport Recife as part of Brasileirao 2021 at Mineirao Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Diego Costa has been named at the centre of a betting scandal

Sergipe State Police said in a statement: “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.

“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 (£1.77 million) 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 who is allegedly the financier of the criminal scheme.

Diego Costa of Atletico MG looks at the ball during a match between Atletico MG and Sport Recife as part of Brasileirao 2021 at Mineirao Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Costa currently plays for Atletico Mineiro in Brazil

Ex-Chelsea star Diego Costa involved in alleged betting scandal as police investigate

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“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.

“Seven search and seizure warrants are being executed, two in Itabaiana in Sergipe, one in Lagarto in Sergipe, two in Simao Dias in Sergipe, 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.”

Unconfirmed local reports said Spanish international Diego Costa’s home was among the properties that had been searched.

Atletico Mineiro's Spanish Diego Costa lies on the field during the all-Brazilian Copa Libertadores semifinal first leg football match between Palmeiras and Atletico Mineiro at the Allianz Parque stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on September 21, 2021.
There are unconfirmed reports that Costa house was raided

There has been no official comment from the footballer on any of his social media sites.

But Atletico Mineiro appeared to confirm the ex-Stamford Bridge striker was the footballer at the centre of the police probe by saying they would support him if he asked for help in a statement.

The statement, titled ‘Diego Costa Official Statement’ and posted on the official club website, said: “The reports do not concern the club.

“The allegations that have been put in the public domain weren’t previously known to the public or the club because they formed part of an investigation and they relate to a period which was prior to the athlete’s arrival here.

“However Atletico Mineiro is trying to find out more and if the athlete requires it, we will offer him all the support that might be necessary.”

General view of Mineirao Stadium prior a semi final second leg match between Atletico Mineiro and Palmeiras as part of Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2021 on September 28, 2021 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Atletico Mineiro released a statement on Costa

Diego Costa, full name Diego da Silva Costa, transferred to Chelsea from Atletico Madrid in 2014 in a deal worth £32 million.

He won three trophies including two Premier League titles during his time at Stamford Bridge.

He returned to Atletico Madrid in 2018 following a rift with then-manager Antonio Conte.

Costa, a dual citizen of Brazil and Spain, joined Atletico Mineiro on August 14 this year, signing a deal until December 2022.

Chelsea's Diego Costa celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Emirates FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England.
Costa won two Premier League titles while at Chelsea

The Belo Horizonte-based side competes in Brazil’s top-tier Serie A league.

Costa, known for his fiery temper on the pitch, played twice for Brazil and has scored 10 goals in his 24 appearances for Spain.

Ex-Chelsea star Diego Costa involved in alleged betting scandal as police investigate
Anurag Reddy
I'm a 29-year-old travel enthusiast, travel and nature photographer, Computer Science graduate, and Mass Communication student. I have seen different shades of life through traveling and lived different lives through reading. With every word I write, I travel within, and I understand myself better. Writing helps me discover myself, and that paved roads for me to choose writing as a profession.


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