63 arrested in major bust of an internet gambling ring that generated over $18 billion in revenues
After sitting on the investigation and arrests report for over a month, Shanghai police revealed this week that in April they detained 63 people for their association with an illegal online gambling ring that generated over 113 billion yuan ($18 billion), the Global Times reports.
The illegal enterprise allegedly operated a Shanghai-based betting network for more than 10 years, attracting more than 10,000 Chinese online punters by connecting them with overseas gambling websites and helping them place bets.
It is the biggest online gambling case since the Internet arrived on the Chinese mainland in 1994, Li Ming, a press officer for the Songjiang district police in Shanghai, claimed.
He said the Shanghai ring operated a multi-tier web of bookies similar to a pyramid selling scheme. Eighteen agents including the gambling ring founder controlled seven shareholder accounts, police said.
The investigation took more than six months, with police starting to gather evidence in October 2013.
The ring-leader registered at a Macao gambling website and shared this account with a close circle of Chinese mainland partners, investigators found. These partners acted as agents, expanding the network into a pyramid of multiple layers with members from across Shanghai.
Having confirmed the identity and location of key members as well as information about the bank accounts and money flows, police pounced on April 11.
They rounded up 63 suspects, froze 58 bank accounts and confiscated more than 60,000 yuan worth of cash, along with computers and other evidence.
The police have identified a 41-year-old man named Hong as the ringleader in the enterprise and have applied for an arrest warrant for him.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa