8 Asians arrested for involvement in multi-million dollar World Cup football betting ring
A top internet and live poker pro, Paul Phua, is among the 8 people from Malaysia, China and Hong Kong arraigned in Las Vegas Monday on illegal online sports betting allegations following a police investigation into World Cup football wagering.
Officials claim that the ring, which was raided in Las Vegas on July 9, generated millions of dollars in bets, with some transactions in Las Vegas apparently conducted over the international website SBOBet.
Investigators named Wei Seng Phua, 50, a suspected organised crime member, and others in a criminal complaint, detailing the scheme to take bets over WiFi and DSL lines installed in their suites at Caesars Palace.
Phua must post $2 million cash bail, wear a GPS monitoring device and put up his $48 million private Gulfstream jet as collateral, among other conditions, a federal judge ruled before releasing him.
FBI and Nevada Gaming Control Board agents made the arrests Sunday in raids on three Caesars suites. Agents reported finding a laptop computer logging illegal wagers and other records.
U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden told the court that the Las Vegas operation began shortly after Phua left Macau, where he had been arrested on June 18 and posted bail on similar allegations of illegal wagering on World Cup soccer games. Bogden claimed that Phua, who is a Malaysian, is a high-ranking member of the 14K Triad, an organized crime group.
Others arrested were identified as Phua's son Darren Wai Kit Phua, 22; Seng Chen Yong, 56, and Wai Kin Yong, 22, all of Malaysia; Hui Tang, 44, of China; and Yan Zhang, 40, Yung Keung Fan, 46, and Herman Chun Sang Yeung, 36, all of Hong Kong.
None of the suspects entered pleas at the hearing.
Prosecutors told the court that Caesars officials cooperated in setting up computer equipment in the three suites, but became concerned that the arrangement, which featured multiple monitors and large television screens tuned to World Cup games, appeared to be a setup for an illegal gambling operation.
Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa