18 bust in Taiwan

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TAIWAN - POLICE BUST 18 IN ONLINE GAMBLING RAID

Fake law firm the front for illegal gambling operation

Police in Taichung this week arrested 18 people on suspicion of running illegal sports betting operations over the Internet, taking advantage of the popularity of New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming to earn several million US dollars.

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) broke up the gambling ring, arresting main suspect Huang Chu-ming and 17 other people in the process. Among those arrested were computer engineers who maintained the online gambling web sites for Huang.

Police said the group set up several web sites as part of the business and had received NT$100 million (US$3 million) on average in bets each month. They added that Huang and the other suspects had established a fake law firm in Taichung, that was actually the office of the illegal gambling group.

Police said the suspects asked gamblers to return bets using the name of the law firm.

The CIB said in a press statement that online sports betting has become rampant in Taiwan since Wang became a star, and said that Huang had told them the group had made good profits recently as most Taiwanese gamblers had bet in favour of Wang and the Yankees, but Wang and his team had lost in the playoffs.

Computers that were used to run the online gambling Web sites were seized in the raid.

The CIB said that since sports bookies set up their servers outside the country, cracking down on online gambling had been difficult, but the bureau would continue to clamp down on domestic activity.
 
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