Online baseball gambling busts

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ONLINE BASEBALL BETTING RING BUSTED IN TAIWAN

Nine arrested in CIB operation

Nine persons were arrested this week on allegations of involvement in an illegal professional baseball online gambling ring, busted when officers of the Taiwan Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) moved against the enterprise.

The newspaper China Today identified the alleged ringleader as Chou Kuo-an (37) while Huang Chun-chieh (30) was said to be the server operator.

Chou, Huang, and seven others were arrested by CIB operatives in collaboration with Taoyuan County police in parts of Hsinchuan City and Taipei County. The suspects have been transferred to the Panchiao District Court Office, a CIB spokesman revealed.

Police confiscated 17 computer servers, each valued at around NT$400 000 and other computer equipment, together with account information of the gambling website's members.

Days earlier, the CIB was tipped off on a gambling ring that received illegal bets in the amount of tens of millions NT dollars on a weekly basis. The ring ran a variety of gambling websites including illegal sports gambling sites, and was operated with a clearly differentiated four-tiered management system, starting from company headquarters to chief agents to regional agents and local agents.

The various agents were employed throughout the island and were in charge of recruiting new members, who placed their bets via the local agents. The local agents worked on commission. The CIB had previously been alerted to some of the ring's illegal sports gambling sites, such as "Dr. B," "E Post Office," and "Big Sports," which took advantage of the popularity of Yankees' baseball pitcher Wang Chien-ming, a Taiwanese native, to run their unlawful betting business.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the ring received at least NT$10 million each week in gambling funds.

In order to avoid raising police suspicion, the computer servers were installed inside a legal company located in Hsinchuan.

According to the CIB, Chou has a history of gangster involvement. He started the gambling operation last September.
 
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