Biggest Online Gambling Ring Bust in Taiwan History3 years ago
Taiwan has just witnessed the largest-ever illegal online gambling bust in the history of the country, with 53 arrests and the seizure of over $60million.
The country’s Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) announced yesterday that:
After a long period of tailing and monitoring suspects, we had raided 55 locations around the country in an operation using some 300 police officers.”
The arrests are part of a crackdown on underground gambling in advance of the January 16th presidential and legislative elections - with authorities concerned that the same gambling operations were also targeting election results.
The alleged mastermind behind the gambling operation - 35-year-old Kao Hung-yu - has “denied that he was engaged in election betting” according to CIB sources, but has admitted to the online gambling charges.
The police raids were co-ordinated using “an M-Police app at its special command center” in Taiwan’s capital city Taipei, “allowing local police and technical experts to gain access to the 55 locations.”
According to a local newspaper report, shared on the taiwanfocus website:
The online gambling ring was operating via a cloud system set up in Subic Bay in the Philippines, and the suspects have been handed over to prosecutors' offices for further investigation.”
Crackdowns on gambling in far eastern countries have become more common recently, although this is the largest online ring ever to be targeted in Taiwan.
Recently Chinese state media reported that 98 online gambling-related arrests have been made by authorities since July, as part of the continued crackdown on illegal internet activity in the country.
The move was the latest in a string of operations conducted against suspected gamblers since President Xi Jinping came to power two years ago.
Those arrested were suspected of taking part in 12 ‘gambling dens’ in the Southern provinces of Hunan and Guangdong, with an estimated $78billion in bets being handled by illegal online sites.
According to Xinhua news agency, and reported here on PokerTube the individuals were arrested on suspicion of "involvement in an online gambling network that has opened more than 500 online casinos, attracting a million members," with investigations still ongoing.
This type of concerted operation against illegal gambling is not only restricted to the fare east, with Federal police and officials in the US recently raiding two card-rooms in San Diego County, seizing more than $600,000 with 25 arrest warrants being issued.
Federal officials swooped on the Seven Mile Casino and the Black Jack Palomar Casino in an early morning operation aimed at suspected money-laundering of profits from high-stakes poker games.
The huge operation also saw arrests being made nationwide, with charges ranging from illegal book-making to failing to report winnings to federal authorities.
Money-laundering is considered to be one of the biggest activities tied to such illegal gambling networks, but as PokerTube recently discussed, this side of the debate is not so clear-cut.
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