“You hope that this will be a great case, in which the sport will give a warning: we don’t want this, we know where to find you. That is why it is a shame that we are now, out of necessity, actually doing the research. on hold “, says Vogelzang about the basketball research.
According to him, the ISR ran into too many (international) delays. For example, it has not been possible for a year and a half to find out which gamblers are behind suspicious South Korean gambling accounts. A request for help from Australian authorities also went unanswered.
“At a certain point it becomes costs versus benefits. We do not have the resources, powers and manpower to solve this within a limited time. If the betting offices all cooperated, you could get a lot further. Only the ISR can be difficult get a finger behind this type of business. “
As a former chief of police and chief of the mission of the Games in Athens, Vogelzang knows the sports and investigation world. According to him, in match-fixing research too much is now expected of the sports associations, while the gambling industry, the police and the FIOD are watching too much.
“Nine out of ten cases are criminal organizations behind this,” he concludes. And without the powers that the FIOD and the police have, this cannot be traced, according to him.
And so Vogelzang wants a match-fixing organization for match-fixing investigations, just like there is a doping authority for doping cases. “You have to have a research organization that can look at criminal activities. You need real specialists who have the powers to advance in a complex, internationally oriented investigation.”
The signals of match fixing in basketball were first presented to the police two years ago, but they found the information from the gambling industry too meager at the time and saw no profit in it. Subsequently, the same signals reached the ISR, via the basketball association, and more and more suspicious elements and matches were gradually found.
The fact that investigative services do not pursue suspicious gambling signals surrounding sports matches is not new: criminal investigations into match fixing have never been conducted successfully.
Now that the Sports Tribunal is withdrawing its hands from these kinds of complex investigations, match fixers seem to have free reign in the Netherlands, Vogelzang admits. “To a degree,” he says, is true. But, he defends the decision, sports federations will continue to do “prevention and education”.