Victoria Police investigation acknowledges ICSS role

Doha – Qatar, Sept 16, 2013: In the unfolding investigation into football match fixing allegations in the Australian state of Victoria, please find below comments from Chris Eaton, the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS), Director of Sport Integrity and Graham Ashton AM, Deputy Commissioner, Specialist Operations, Victoria Police.

The ICSS has been assisting the Victoria Police with the investigation, which has so far led to the arrest of ten people on suspicion of involvement in match fixing in the Victorian State Premier League with the Southern Stars club.

Graham Ashton AM, Deputy Commissioner, Specialist Operations, Victoria Police acknowledged: “the support and ongoing assistance the ICSS provided Victoria Police in relation to a number of issues throughout this year, and most recently the current, Operation Starlings, investigation.

“The support and assistance provided to Victoria Police by the International Centre for Sport Security has ensured that we are well positioned to establish a Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit to tackle the developing national and international issues surrounding crime in sport. Without such cooperation, such investigations would be difficult for localized Police Forces to undertake.”

Eaton said: “Members of the ICSS team have been in Victoria for the past two weeks providing the Victoria Police with relevant international information. Localized police services have considerable challenges with international investigations of this nature, and credible independent international support like ours is motivated to help them both deepen and quicken their processes.

“The Victoria Police did something exceptional; they applied organised crime investigation techniques from the beginning. That’s exactly what must happen in these sorts of investigations.

Eaton continued: “Football is facing serious integrity issues on a global scale. It is vital that the interests of football, police, sport betting and relevant regulators both combine and internationalize information and cooperation in some way, and soon. Criminal match fixing remains big, global and organised. The detection, disruption and deterrence of it must be equally as big, global and organised. As of today it is not.”

Mohammed Hanzab, ICSS, President, said: “This investigation once again highlights the complexity and global, cross national nature of sports result manipulation and betting fraud. With our international network of integrity practitioners, the ICSS is committed to working with police, governmental and sporting bodies to share intelligence and best practice and protect the integrity of sport.” —- By Will Shand

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