Friday March 21,2014 : 67 ON TRIAL IN CHINA FOR ILLEGAL ONLINE BETTING
From workers to ring-leaders, a wide spread of defendants.
The trial of 67 individuals accused of involvement in an online sports betting ring that allegedly generated 484 billion yuan (US$77.7 billion) between March 2008 and April 2013 has entered its second week in the Liwan District Peoples Court in the Guangdong province of China.
Gamblers using the ring were mainly interested in major international football fixtures, and prosecutors claim that most of the illegal earnings were transferred overseas.
The People's Daily newspaper reports that the online betting ring operated via gambling websites including "Huangguan"and "Yongligao" registered outside China. The suspects used overseas websites to help punters place bets and took commissions from them.
Prosecutors claim the ring was run within a circle of friends and relatives like a pyramid selling scheme.
"In many previous cases, we only seized those at the lowest level. This time, the suspects come from all tiers," said Li Fan, senior prosecutor of the case.
"We are trying to recover their illegal earnings, and end their money laundering operation, to make it harder for them to continue their illegal business after they have finished their prison terms," Li said. "Otherwise, they can easily rent a new server or just change the names of the websites."