Mid-week raids across Italy unearth interesting connections
For the second time in as many years, Italian police have linked the online gambling jurisdiction of Malta with a current organised crime investigation.
The investigation, code named Operation Double Jack, saw significant police activity mid-week as raiding parties across Italy visited and searched more than thirty premises suspected of being involved in both land and online illegal gambling.
Seven suspects were arrested in the sweep amid allegations that an illegal online gambling operation that generated monthly revenues of Euro 10 million has possible Malta connections. Raiding parties seized properties and froze bank accounts for a total value of Euro 9 million, according to Italian media reports.
In one widely covered report Giuseppe Creazzo, a state prosecutor in Florence, claimed that the illegal gambling ring is suspected of having some links with MediaLive Casino Ltd, a legitimate live dealer online gambling enterprise licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority.
Interestingly, the prosecutor revealed that officials used specialised Trojan software to aid their investigations; the software was installed in the ring’s digital network and, according to Creazzo, was valuable in locating the illegal software platform from which games were allegedly controlled in Malta.
The technique will however not be available to police in the future following new Italian legislation, he said.
Italian police are seeking cooperation from the Malta authorities; earlier this year the Anti-Mafia Commission visited the island in an effort to speed up the provision of information that Italian enforcers have requested from the authorities on Malta.