Police in the mainland Chinese province of Jiangsu have broken up an international gambling ring that took bets through a website set up in the Philippines, Xinhua reports.
The Chinese government-run news agency said on Sunday that police in the country’s eastern province arrested 56 suspects of unspecified nationality. Xinhua described the ring as “involving” about CNY7.8 billion (US$1.1 billion) but failed to say precisely what this sum referred to.
The report said the suspects were alleged to have earned illegal profits of CNY650 million, according to police in Jiangsu. It said an investigation began in January 2016, after the police received information about a gambling website which had been opened in the Philippines. Since then, the website was said to have gained more than 114,000 users.
The report did not clarify whether the gambling website was related to casino proxy gambling. The latter refers to bets placed on behalf of somebody not physically present at a gaming venue, and it is allowed in the Philippines.
Police claim they broke the ring after identifying four suspects through their bank card information. Two web technicians were arrested in Shanghai last year. The report said they were among those operating the website in the Philippines. Police then gained access to backend data and unravelled the ring’s structure.
The report said 50 suspects were arrested either in Shanghai, in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, or in the southern provinces of Fujian and Guangdong, and that another six suspects were arrested elsewhere on the mainland after returning from the Philippines and surrendering to officials. The suspects are being handed over to prosecutors for prosecution, the news agency says.
In April, a United States government report said official tolerance in the Philippines of casino proxy gambling was one gap in the Asian nation’s anti-money-laundering regime.
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Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China