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.