Friday November 2, 2012 : MAJOR ONLINE GAMBLING BUST IN CHINA
Internet gambling ring handled over $11.2 billion in last 10 months
Police in Shanghai, China reported Thursday that they have broken up an internet gambling ring that generated more than 70 billion yuan ($11.2 billion) in wagers since January.
A Shanghai Cyber Police spokesman claimed that a three month investigation led to the dismantling of the biggest online gambling operation yet by Chinese enforcement agencies.
He revealed that more than 50 suspects had been arrested, 3 million yuan in cash had been seized and 10 million yuan of clients' money frozen.
The ring profited by working with unidentified overseas gambling websites, helping Chinese Internet users to wager on soccer games and online casino games.
"The ring has had a very bad effect on society. We have found office workers and university students who have gambled away all of their money, and even their parents' apartments," the spokesman said.
The Shanghai Cyber Police assigned a special team to monitor and investigate the gambling ring earlier this year.
Investigators achieved a breakthrough when noticed a major figure in the gang surnamed Shou, who frequently visited an overseas website. "We found that the ring was using that website to manage its accounts. They had connections with more than 20 overseas gambling websites," the spokesman said.
The ring purchased gambling software from unidentified sources abroad, which clients used to bet on European soccer games, including UEFA Champions League matches. Most of these gambling websites were based in Southeast Asia and run by ethnic Chinese, the police claim.
Since August 2012, Shanghai Cyber Police has been running an anti-online gambling operation, and claim to have successfully prosecuted 954 cases involving almost 1,800 persons.