On Wednesday, January 11, 2023, Macau’s Judiciary Police apprehended 15 locals for supposed connections to an illegal online gambling organization that has reportedly amassed $3.69 billion in bets since 2017.
This illegal organization is presumably managed through Macau from computer servers abroad. However, apart from Macau, they also had other bases throughout mainland China.
In business since 2017, the organization supposedly collected CNY18.5 billion (which is approximately 2.74 billion US dollars) in bets, according to a police spokesman commenting on Wednesday’s arrest.
The arrest came after a joint operation by mainland China police from Guangdong province and Macau police. Moreover, mainland Chinese police were assisting Macau law enforcement in the cross-border investigation, as the aforementioned organization was so widespread that it had members on both sides of the border, according to Chan Wun Man, spokesman for the Macau’s Judiciary Police, at a briefing on Thursday.
Fortunately, the joint operation was an absolute success, with 27 people apprehended in several mainland provinces for supposedly being part of the gang, according to the same spokesman.
Of this 27 people, 15 are Macau locals aged 29 to 66. When they were arrested, they were brought to the city Public Prosecutor’s Office for a detailed interrogation.
According to Mr. Chan “they face allegations of involvement in organised crime, as well as the crimes of running illicit gambling and of money laundering.”
Commenting on the arrest, which was broadcast by TDM Radio Service, a Chinese-language public broadcaster, Mr. Chan said: “The operational mode of the organisation was that the ringleader established many shareholder accounts, and these shareholders looked for agents that worked for them and these agents then recruited players for the Internet-based gambling activities.
“This organization has run several types of Internet-based gambling games, including some self-developed ones, such as online baccarat, [and] a ‘fishing’ game, as well as illicit football betting.
“The computer servers of the Internet-based gambling activities allegedly run by the group, were hosted overseas.”
Untouchable organization of illegal online gambling operations:
Bets for the online gambling activities were placed through routes that involved cryptocurrency transactions and were moved from several bank accounts in mainland China to Macau.
In this regard, the Macau police had every reason to believe “that the criminal organization had profited to the tune of at least CNY25 million from the online gambling activities.”
According to the statement of the spokesperson of the Macau police “the group had an operational base in a luxury flat in Macau’s ZAPE district, on the city’s peninsula, in addition to several other bases spread across mainland China and overseas.” However, he did not directly revealed the Macau location.”