Major European Online Gambling Ring Busted

Europol and Portuguese police collaborate to take down enterprise that generated Euro 80 million in profits

The Hague-based European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, better known under the name Europol with a mandate to guard against organised crime activity across the European Union, has worked with the Portuguese police to take down a major illegal online sports betting ring active across Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland.

Following a fifteen-month investigation the ring was dismantled with the arrest of 31 individuals – seven caught red-handed – and the indictment of 93 persons and 14 companies. No details have been released on the individuals or companies so far.

Charges assembled by the investigating officers include illegal gambling, criminal association, tax fraud and money laundering.

Announcing the police action over the weekend the law enforcement bodies revealed that the highly organised and structured organisation generated profits of Euro 80 million. In a police action dubbed Operation Shadow Game the ring was raided last week, resulting in the seizure of Euro 576,000 in cash, and the freezing of bank accounts and other “criminal assets” worth Euro 6 million. 22 firearms and 86 vehicles have also been impounded.

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Brian Cullingworth

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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