Following on from the partnership signed last year at the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, UNODC and International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) on Tuesday unveiled a new resource guide that will help law enforcement and sports organisations better detect and investigate match-fixing and cases of sports-results manipulation.
Launched during a side event of the Seventh meeting of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Prevention of Corruption, which was attended by representatives of the 178 states parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, the new resource guide is the result of an extensive 18-month project led by the UNODC and ICSS. It is available on UNODC’s website.
The new UNODC-ICSS guide has been developed for investigators in both law enforcement and sports organisations and also to raise awareness among policy makers about the threat of match-fixing. It provides comprehensive information on the different factors, approaches and practical investigation techniques needed to conduct effective investigations into match-fixing. It also provides guidance on how law enforcement and sport organisations, and other relevant stakeholders, can effectively work together to detect and investigate match-fixing across different jurisdictions.
Over 40 experts contributed their knowledge to the development of the resource guide. These included officials from: FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, INTERPOL, the European Commission, Hong Kong Jockey Club, World Snooker, Council of Europe, Ministries of Justice from France and the Republic of Korea, and EUROPOL.
Speaking at the launch of the resource guide, UNODC director for Treaty Affairs John Brandolino said: “The problem of match-fixing is such that it undermines integrity in sport with the significant illicit profits it generates allowing organised crime and corruption to thrive. In addition, the investigative skills of both law enforcement agencies and sports organisations around the world which are needed to identify and apprehend those responsible, are relatively underdeveloped.”
For his part, ICSS president Mohamed Hanzab, while highlighting the expert contributions in the development of the guide, mentioned: “This handbook provides a comprehensive range of case studies, investigation techniques and approaches to combat match-fixing as well as providing valuable guidance on how to disrupt the international organised crime syndicates that now operate in sport.”
Using the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) as a basis, topics and themes covered in the guide include co-operation between law enforcement and sport investigators; sources of information, allegations, intelligence and evidence; evidence and interviewing; why match-fixing is an international issue; application of existing legal instruments e.g. UNCAC, UNTOC etc; relationship between investigators and prosecutors in a criminal or sporting case; and alternative and complimentary approaches to combat match-fixing.
UNODC and the ICSS will look to develop the resource guide into a series of workshops designed to build capacities of investigators, prosecutors and relevant officials in sports organisations on how to investigate allegations of match-fixing.
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