Mainland China authorities investigated more than 17,000 so-called cross-border gambling-related cases in 2021, said on Friday the country’s Ministry of Public Security. A total of more than 80,000 suspects were nabbed in connection with those offences, it added.
The figures were mentioned in a statement highlighting efforts linked to what the ministry called a “nationwide” crackdown on cross-border gambling activities, a move it said involved several Chinese government departments.
“Domestic crackdown actions on customer solicitation networks, money laundering activities and illicit financing channels used by large-size overseas gambling groups were successful,” said the ministry.
It added: “There were targeted actions against cross-border gambling groups using shell companies or corporate accounts to transfer gambling capital” out of mainland China.
The ministry said it had “effectively curbed” cross-border gambling promotion activities targeted at mainland Chinese citizens, by shutting down or blocking a number of gambling websites and mobile phone applications.
In 2021, the Chinese authorities dismantled more than “2,200 Internet gambling platforms”, as well as more than “1,600 illicit payment platforms and underground banks”, the statement said.
China’s amended criminal code, that outlaws anyone assisting in cross-border gambling, came into effect from March 1, 2021.
Before that new legal code came into effect, three mainland law-enforcement bodies had, in a joint statement issued in early February last year, called on individuals either to surrender or assist judicial investigation into cross-border gambling activities. The authorities had said at the time that in return they would consider granting leniency to the people when dealing with such matters.
More than 1,100 suspects – based either in mainland China or elsewhere – had “surrendered” themselves to the Chinese authorities in connection to cross-border gambling offences, China’s Ministry of Public Security noted in its Friday statement, adding that those people had been treated with “leniency”.
The ministry also said that a “blacklist” system targeted at certain “key” jurisdictions that solicited mainland Chinese gamblers had been implemented throughout 2021. The Chinese authorities have never publicly affirmed which countries or regions are on this blacklist.
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