Our role in fighting financial crime

We combine round-the-clock support with operations and case coordination to give financial fraudsters a run for their money.

We play a dual role in tackling financial crime, combining our everyday support to member countries with organizing targeted operations and joint investigations. The nature of financial crime means we often work in collaboration with organizations outside the law enforcement community.

Our daily work involves processing requests and messages received from member countries who are seeking support. We carry out checks against our databases to provide information that can support the national police force in charge of the case investigation and identify links with other cases.

“Almost everyone is potentially at risk from financial crime today, and the effects on victims are often traumatic psychologically as well as financially.”

Capacity building and training

It is our job to keep our member countries and frontline police officers updated with the latest sophisticated crime patterns and modus operandi, so we organize capacity building activities at both national and regional level. These address not only police officers but also representatives from other law enforcement agencies such as customs and immigration or public entities including financial intelligence units and judicial bodies.

Global Conference on Criminal Finances and Cryptocurrencies

In response to the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, and the opportunities they offer criminal groups, INTERPOL, Europol and the Basel Institute on Governance take it in turns to host a global conference on cryptocurrency-enabled crime, particularly money laundering. Participants meet annually to share their latest experiences and build upon the public-private partnerships which are essential to tackle financial crime.

Staying on the ball

Operation SOGA (SOccer GAmbling) targets illegal gambling and related money laundering activities. It is a regular fixture timed to coincide with major international soccer events. Suspicious bookmakers, punters, and money launderers are identified following painstaking research and intelligence exchange, and are arrested in a simultaneous crackdown, hitting criminal syndicates hard.

“Online betting platforms have brought an international dimension to soccer gambling and are often located in countries with few regulations on sports betting, presenting additional challenges for police.”

During the 2018 FIFA World Cup over 14,000 locations were raided worldwide, 19,000 people were arrested and USD142 million were recovered.

To date, seven SOGA operations have resulted in more than 30,000 arrests, the seizure of some USD 57 million in cash and the closure of more than 3,700 illegal gambling dens which handled almost USD 8 billion worth of bets.