Asian Blitz On Internet Gambling Continues


Focus is on halting illegal World Cup betting

Enforcemet bodies in Malaysia and China have continued their blitz on World Cup football betting, with Malaysian authorities reporting the disruption of two major online betting syndicates, and another 120 arrests in China.

Police spokesmen in Penang, Malaysia reprted the breakup of two illegal online World Cup football gambling syndicates involving bets worth RM750,000, together with the arrest of another eight people in an initiative dubbed Operation Soga earlier this week.

Computer equipment and mobile phones were confiscated for examination in the raids, with police estimating that the ring was taking around RM 250 000 daily.

In raids on other premises, an internet café, eight persons were arrested Tuesday on allegations of illegal internet gambling. Cash and computer equipment were seized, with indications that RM 750 000 had been placed over the internet on World Cup matches.

A third raid Tuesday saw two arrests at a restaurant where an illegal online betting syndicate was active; documentary evidence was seized, along with mobile phones and computer equipment. Also on Tuesday, raids on a private homes produced four more arrests, equipment confiscations and further evidence of internet gambling activity with recent bets of around RM 250 000.

In China, Public Safety officials reported the disruption of another internet betting ring which allegedly saw major betting activity worth over 2.1 billion yuan.

The ring was smashed with 120 arrests being made after police completed a two month long investigation into the gambling ring, said to operate through a website based in the Philippines and branded 'SunCity'.

Police spokesmen said the site provided live dealer casino games video-streamed over the Internet. They said that the bust had been a complex operation across 21 Chinese provinces and cities which uncovered over 52 000 unique visits to the website and some 2.1 billion yuan (US$308 million) wagered illegally.

In addition to the 120 persons arrested, police seized cash and computers, and warned that they will continue to strengthen Internet monitoring in order to crack down on any illegal gambling groups and online betting, especially during the World Cup.

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