Tuesday June 18,2013 : MORE ONLINE GAMBLING BUSTS IN CHINA
Police strike in Guangdong Province, arresting 57
Chinese police broke up another online gambling ring over the weekend, this one centred on horse race betting and controlled from Hong Kong.
The publication Xinhua reports that police in south China's Guangdong Province announced the weekend arrests Monday, saying that 57 people had been detained in Shenzen and Hong Kong, and that the ring has laundered more than 200 million yuan (32 million U.S. dollars).
Police investigators believe the ring was led by a Hong Kong man, and that those involved evaded police detection by taking bets via a password-protected, members-only website that was maintained by its own technicians based in Shenzhen.
The raids were executed by around 120 officers of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau and the Narcotics Bureau, and were targeted on 16 premises across Hong Kong and Shenzen. HK$1.7 million in cash was seized in Hong Kong, along with records involving HK$120 million in horse-racing bets placed over the past few months.
In Shenzhen, public security bureau officers arrested 23 people – 11 of them Hong Kong residents. Bets with a face value of about 900 million yuan (HK$1.13 billion), also from the past few months, were seized.
Chief superintendent Kwok Ho-fai of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau said Sunday's operation followed a year-long investigation involving the Shenzhen and Guangdong provincial police departments.
"We believe we have smashed the syndicate. The main culprit, who is a Hong Kong resident, and his sidekicks have been arrested," said Kwok.
Chief inspector Ng Wai-hon, of the same bureau, said: "The investigation took so long because we needed time to navigate their computer network. The syndicate built its own website and passwords were needed to place bets. They changed their website address regularly."