As the world focuses its attention on the achievements of athletes at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea, thousands of police officers are working to keep the event safe and free from the influence of criminals.
The Olympics, like all major events, can be exploited by criminals due to:
- Large gatherings of people
- Increased border traffic
- Intense media exposure
- Opportunities for financial gain
For this reason, INTERPOL has several special teams dedicated to the Olympics:
IMEST: INTERPOL Major Event Support Team
Based in the International Police Cooperation Centre in PyeongChang, the IMEST has instant, direct access to INTERPOL’s databases. In tight cooperation with the National Central Bureau (NCB) in Seoul, it will facilitate the exchange of vital police information with our 192 member countries.
INTERPOL Match-Fixing Task Force
As part of its partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), INTERPOL’s Match-Fixing Task Force (IMFTF), a global network of 80 specialists, is on the lookout for any attempts to manipulate the outcomes of Olympic competitions.
The IMFTF is on standby should any betting irregularities be detected, and will facilitate contact between the IOC’s Chief Ethics and Compliance Officers and the Korean National Police. Information will be shared through the INTERPOL NCBs in Seoul and Bern.
INTERPOL’s Project Stadia is conducting an observation programme of security arrangements in PyeongChang, including counterterrorism and cybersecurity measures. They will share their findings via Project Stadia’s Knowledge Management System (SKMS), an online collaborative platform where experts can share, discuss, analyze and publish information on the evolving aspects of major sporting event security.