The Public Security Department in mainland China’s Guangdong province has urged residents involved in “cross-border gambling crimes” to “turn themselves in” to the authorities by April 30, it said in a Thursday statement. In return, the authorities would consider granting leniency when dealing with such offences, the department added.
The body highlighted two cases said to involve the operation and promotion of online gambling business, for which mainland China residents had allegedly been recruited to work abroad. The department called on what it termed the “runaway suspects” to turn themselves in. It also gave their names and national identity card numbers in its statement.
One of the cases involved an online gambling group that had illegitimately exploited the brand name “Sands Macao”. It was said to have been active since 2020. The group was said to have recruited mainland China residents to go abroad to “develop online gambling games” and handle “customer services”, as well as luring gaming patrons from mainland China, the department noted.
Three mainland law-enforcement bodies had announced earlier this year that mainland China residents involved in “cross-border gambling crimes” should either “turn themselves in” to the authorities by April 30, or should assist judicial investigation into such crimes.
That call had come ahead of China’s amended criminal code – that outlaws anyone assisting in “cross-border gambling” – and which came into effect from March 1 this year.
In its Thursday statement, Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department said it has investigated 966 “cross-border gambling and related crimes”; had arrested 10,034 suspects; and had disrupted over 200 “illegal payment platforms and underground banks” throughout the province during 2020, as part of the national operations by the security units against this type of activity.
Countrywide, Chinese police have investigated “more than 17,000 cross-border gambling and related cases” since 2020, reported state-run news agency Xinhua, citing data from the Ministry of Public Security. The nationwide crackdown had resulted in the disruption of “more than 3,400 online gambling platforms” and “over 2,800 illegal payment platforms and underground banks”, the report said.
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