IMFTF brings together law enforcement agencies from around the world and supports member countries in criminal investigations and joint operations in all sports and maintains a global network of investigators that share information, intelligence and best practices.
The event enabled key stakeholders from sports entities, law enforcement and sports and sports betting monitoring organizations, such as the Global Lottery Monitoring System (GLMS), to share best practices, experiences and cases.
Building capacity and sharing information
Luca Esposito, Secretary General of GLMS, presented the work of GLMS. He underscored the importance of cooperation from multiple entities fighting crime in sports and how GLMS supports its members and the broader sports community through its different activities.
“Our capacity building activities include sharing analysis of the risks regarding (illegal) sports betting and match-fixing, and supporting national capacity building workshops together with Interpol, Council of Europe for national platforms, IOC and other relevant stakeholders, which all contributes towards detecting and preventing sports manipulations.”
The event covered the different types of criminal violations, for instance, betting rings linked to money laundering, corruption and smuggling; fraud and results manipulations, as well as the technologies that make the proliferation of illegal betting possible, such as cryptocurrencies.
Football break-out group talks trends, social media and data sharing
Participants broke into groups (athletics, cricket, football, tennis, and table tennis to discuss and share how the different stakeholders from sports, law enforcement and sports betting integrity can help specific sports carry out successful investigations against criminal activities in sports.
Esposito joined the football team which discussed new trends, social media and issues around data privacy laws that can impede sharing information during investigations. While cryptocurrencies enable illicit gambling, it was noted that criminals also exploit holes in the law, with an example in Brazil where betting is not allowed, so bets are paid for in cash.
Younger generations could be at risk of being approached and bribed to participate in manipulating sports competitions. The group concluded that more could be done to leverage social media by having elite sports athletes use this medium to raise awareness and explain the issues around match fixing.
One of the challenges in investigations, is information storage and sharing and the data privacy laws that can hinder the process, however the group felt that there could be a way to obtain additional information which could later help the work of investigators without impacting data privacy law.
More about the event
The event also provided closed door sessions for national law enforcement, international sports federations and Interpol to coordinate cases and have bi and multilateral discussions. Other closed-door sessions enabled the IMFTF to get updates from its national members worldwide and allow for operational case discussions.