‘Dark Brother' oversaw 100 billion yuan in bets, police claim
Police and other enforcement authorities in China have told the Reuters news agency that their concentrated drive against internet gambling on the World Cup has yielded another gigantic bust – this one arguably the largest online gambling ring yet.
Headed by a mysterious underworld character dubbed ‘Dark Brother', the ring reportedly took bets exceeding 100 billion yuan (GBP9.6 billion)
Policed have claimed that the gang operated a ‘sophisticated and secretive online betting network' since 2006, but that starting June 7 enforcement agencies methodically broke up the organisation, which was especially active in the southern province of Guangdong.
China's scandal-plagued football team failed to qualify for the World Cup, but that has not dampened the enthusiasm of Chinese fans, Reuters reports. Betting on World Cup fixtures has continued despite the ruling Communist Party's ban on gambling.
Police arrested ‘Dark Brother', whom they identified as a Hong Kong resident, as he was leaving a nightclub party in Shenzhen, a free-wheeling city neighbouring Hong Kong.
"The case of the gambling gang involves accumulated sums of over 100 billion yuan," police spokesmen claimed, adding that ‘Dark Brother' and his subordinates ran a tightly-organised network across southern and eastern China that took bets through the Internet. The report said the gang leader's surname was Li.
In related news, Indonesian police rescued a shocked and relieved student who had bet over his bankroll on World Cup football outcomes and was unable to pay around $121 000 he owed the illegal bookie, identified only as one ‘Rick'.
Jakarta Police said the student was kidnapped by a gang allegedly hired by Rick and held captive for hours at a hotel before being rescued by police acting on tip-offs. He told police that the gang had threatened to kill him if he was unable to come up with the cash he owed.
Arrests have been made and investigations are continuing.