11th of October 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
This week, the Israeli authorities conducted the biggest action in the country's history, cracking down on the largest gambling network as a result of year-long undercover investigation.
The enormous operations saw the police raid dozens of locations including money exchange kiosks in Tel Aviv, Holon, Herzliya and Rishon Lezion and the homes of forty suspects, who were brought in for questioning about the focus of the investigation - an Israeli-focused betting site DonBet.
It is estimated that the website processed at least 1 billion dollars in the past two years and $6 to 7 Billion over the past five years, throughout which it was providing punters with the possibility to place bets on soccer games, horse racing and blackjack. Its servers were reportedly located in Israel and the Netherlands.
The police targeted DonBet while they were investigating into the origin of "tens of millions of dollars" obtained through illegal gambling operations by criminal gangs in central Israel. The site was described by the police as "a growth engine that is suspected of financing criminal gangs in Israel".
The action conducted in cooperation with income tax investigators, tax authorities and money laundering investigators, resulted in the suspects standing accused of money laundering, gambling, criminal conspiracy, and violations of the Combating Criminal Organizations Law (5763-2003).
"There is no doubt that the investigation could damage an important means of financing for top criminals in Israel, and the state could make tens of millions of shekels from the seizures," it was assessed by a Police spokesperson.
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