News of an Interpol gambling investigation has revealed multiple arrests and raids in both Europe and Asia.
According to gambling news
, an Interpol gambling investigation has resulted in over 4000 arrests, across Europe and Asia. These arrests followed a series of raids, coordinated internationally during Euro 2016, in a crack down on illegal football betting. Raids took place primarily in Southern Europe and South-East Asia. This was the sixth major Interpol gambling investigation into illegal soccer gambling.
There was a further operation seeking to clamp down on illegal online sportsbooks in South Korea
and South-East Asia. Between both investigations, Interpol seized around £10. They have claimed that during Euro 2016 almost half a billion GBP was traded in “illegal gambling dens”. While these were gambling-specific raids, Interpol are concerned by the criminal activity associated with these illicit dens: crime networks involved in illegal gambling are also responsible for “corruption, human trafficking and money laundering”, according to Interpol’s head of anti-corruption and financial crimes department.
Interpol Gambling Investigation one of many in recent years
Since Interpol began its series of soccer gambling investigations, there have been higher than 12,500 arrests, and £40m seized; the multiple operations have usually coincided with major international football tournaments and have closed gambling networks responsible for almost £5 billion in bets. However, the regularity with which the operations have coincided with major football tournaments has lead some to suggest that Interpol are merely seeking publicity and have not been as effective as they could have been, evidenced by that fact that in the almost a decade of crack-downs criminal betting activity has actually increased.
Chris Eaton, an Australian policeman who has worked with Interpol, claimed that Interpol weren’t going after the real problem: “Small-scale and token police operations look good, but tend to enhance the mega-illegal operators by cutting out the smaller ones. In this sense it is counter-intuitive”. For him, only “co-ordinated global government intervention will clean up gambling and save sport, and Interpol would be wiser to encourage this than play with the minor leagues of illegal gambling.”