November 19 2014
– POLICE and racing authorities have struck a deal to swap information about race-fixers and money launderers to crack down on crime in the sport.
Victoria Police and the Victorian Racing Integrity Commission have announced a joint arrangement aimed at stamping out crime and corruption in the racing industry.
Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton says the new memorandum of understanding (MOU) means police will be able to divulge information about money laundering and race-fixing in greyhound, harness and thoroughbred racing.
Cooperation between police and other major sporting bodies such as ASADA and the AFL will be considered.
“Certainly we are looking at that,” Mr Ashton said.
Mr Ashton said sports-related crime was one of the fastest growing crime types internationally.
“We get a lot of intelligence around that sector, so being able to pass that on will be a good opportunity,” he said.
Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna said the agreement was a milestone for racing integrity.
“There are a lot of things that have hampered us in the past,” Mr Perna said.
“Today is an important day — it’s a bad day for the bad guys.”
But the deal will still be restricted under federal laws that mean telephone intercept information and other communications will not be shared.
Mr Perna said a dedicated racing integrity squad in Victoria Police was still needed.
“There needs to be specialist resources,” he said.
The Victorian Racing Integrity Commission has also struck an MOU with the Australian Crime Commission, and plan to work with the Australian Federal Police in a similar way.
– Nicholas Payne