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(LEAD) Prosecutors detain LG Twins pitcher over match fixing scandal

All Headlines 17:06 February 28, 2012

(ATTN: TYPO in 2nd para)

DAEGU, Feb. 28 (Yonhap) -- Prosecutors detained a pitcher for questioning on Tuesday as part of their widening investigation into match fixing in baseball, an official said.

The 23-year-old player for the LG Twins is suspected of having been involved in match fixing in the country's most popular professional sport. The suspect, identified only by his family name Kim, is believed to have been taken into custody earlier Tuesday.

Prosecutors said they will decide whether to seek a warrant to formally arrest the suspect after concluding the probe, according to the official in Daegu, a major city located some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

They declined to give any further details, saying the investigation is still under way.

A spokesman for the LG Twins was not immediately reached for comment. The Seoul-based professional baseball club belongs to LG Group, one of the nation's top conglomerates.

The investigation comes days after prosecutors have questioned 15 former and active volleyball players about their alleged roles in rigging matches in exchange for cash from gambling brokers.

South Korea has recently announced it will take a "zero-tolerance" approach to match fixing and toughened penalties for offending parties.

Under a recently revised law, players or coaches who take part in fixing schemes could be sentenced to up to five years in prison or pay up to 50 million won (US$44,400) in fines. Their teams will also face expulsion from their leagues.

Last year, the K-League, South Korea's first-division football league, was rocked by a match-fixing controversy. Dozens of active and former players were indicted and found guilty.

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