A brother of Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish was arrested Tuesday in Osaka for his alleged role in an illegal gambling ring that placed bets on U.S. and Japanese professional baseball games, police said.
Sho Darvish, 26, was taken into custody along with seven others. He is accused of taking bets worth some ¥18.5 million on results and scores of 16 major league games and 28 Japanese professional baseball games played between May 12 and 18.
It wasn’t clear if any of the bets involved Texas Rangers’ games.
Most kinds of gambling are illegal in Japan, including most sports betting.
The police allege that Darvish received the bets via a smartphone messaging app and pocketed 10 percent of the wagers made by his customers. He is also suspected of placing bets on baseball games himself in a ring allegedly run by a 29-year-old man named So Naoya.
Acting on a tip in September 2014, the police were investigating whether Darvish was engaging in gambling on professional baseball games, they said.
The arrest came a week after two pitchers with the Yomiuri Giants were found to have gambled on baseball games.
The findings by Nippon Professional Baseball follow revelations earlier this month that another Giant had also been involved in illegal betting.
Yu Darvish was a star in Japan before heading over to the Rangers three years ago. In 2013, the now 29-year-old led the major leagues with 277 strikeouts and he reached 500 career strikeouts in fewer innings than any other pitcher.