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UAE: Interpol, experts call for global efforts to curb match-fixing

Targeting athletes' entourage, grooming young players among offenders' tactics



By Web Desk

Published: Thu 12 May 2022, 9:07 PM

With criminal organisations increasingly operating across betting and sports markets, experts discuss the emerging uses of technology, big data and social media to outsmart match-fixers and betting syndicates.

The 12th meeting of Interpol's Match-Fixing Task Force (IMFTF) concluded with a call to harmonise global efforts to curb competition manipulation.

The three-day meeting held from May 10 to 12 brought together intelligence specialists from some 50 countries, representing law enforcement, public authorities, sports federations, anti-doping organisations and betting monitoring services.

It was the first major event held under Interpol's newly formed Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Centre (IFCACC ), which provides a coordinated global response against the exponential growth in transnational financial crime and corruption.

They acknowledged that match-fixers still rely on tried and tested manipulation methods, such as targeting athletes' entourage and grooming young players.

Discussions focused on mechanisms to boost intelligence sharing and narrow legislative and institutional gaps, such as establishing National Platforms, as outlined in the Macolin Convention, which centralised and analysed information on irregular and suspicious trends.

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Interpol provided an overview of law enforcement's specific tools for the data collection on sports corruption and financial crimes analysis.

The meeting included a closed-door session for specialised investigators to share case studies, discuss emerging match-fixing tactics and hold multi and bilateral meetings to coordinate active international cases.

Exchanges revealed that while betting intelligence remained important to investigations, other intelligence sources also needed to be exploited. For example, although doping has traditionally been viewed through a drug-enforcement lens, participants heard that positive doping tests and alerts could be a valuable source of intelligence for integrity investigations, notably on the criminal organisations behind competition manipulation.


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