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A representative of the Slovenian police attended the presentation of results from an international football match-fixing investigation at the Europol headquarters today. He presented the role of the Slovenian police and reiterated the importance of cooperation in the fight against this type of crime. At the press conference representatives of Europol, Finland, Germany, Hungary and Slovenia presented the results of a Joint Investigation Team that looked into match-fixing, the ways of fixing scores and the proceeds acquired by criminal groups.

Slovenia has participated in different investigations into fixing results in sports since 2009. This was the second time that it has taken part in a joint investigation team, which was established in July 2011 by Germany, Hungary and Finland. In 2012 they were joined on operational grounds by Austria and Slovenia. Participating in the Joint Investigation Team were representatives of the Criminal Police Directorate and Specialised Office of the State Prosecutor, together with Europol and Eurojust representatives.

Intense cooperation with the other Member States taking part in the Joint Investigation Team led to results in Slovenia as well and in 2010 and 2011 the police filed crime reports against four people for unauthorised giving and acceptance of gifts and five people for organising illegal gambling and money laundering. In both cases the proceedings in court are still ongoing.

The Joint Investigation Team ran until the end of January 2013. However, this does not mean that the close cooperation between police forces in combating result fixing in sports has finished; on the contrary, a framework and foundations for future close cooperation between Europol,  Eurojust and Member States have been laid.

Joint Investigation Teams are set up for a special purpose and for a fixed period of time based on an agreement between two or more Member States. Their advantages are as follows:

  • Ability to share information directly between JIT members without the need for formal requests
  • Ability to request investigative measures between team members directly, dispensing with the need for Letters Rogatory
  • Ability for members to be present at house searches, interviews, etc. in all jurisdictions covered, helping to overcome language barriers in interviews, etc.
  • Ability to co-ordinate efforts on the spot, and for informal exchange of specialised knowledge
  • Ability to build and promote mutual trust between practitioners from different jurisdictions and work environments
  • Ability for Europol and Eurojust to be involved with direct support and assistance
  • Ability to apply for available EU, Eurojust or Europol funding