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Sichuan police bust major cross-border online gambling ring

By Quan Zhanfu | | Updated: 2024-02-22 22:18
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Sichuan police announced a major crackdown on a cross-border online gambling operation, arresting 93 suspects and seizing over 20 million yuan ($2.78 million) in illicit funds.

The network, targeting Chinese gamblers, operated from the Philippines and boasted nearly a million registered members in China, with illegal transactions exceeding 725.5 billion yuan. The first batch of 50 suspects, charged with running illegal casinos, is already facing trial.

The investigation began after a Sichuan resident, identified with his surname Yuan, reported losing over 100,000 yuan on a gambling website named "Kakawan."

The investigation began in May last year when a Deyang citizen, surnamed Yuan in Sichuan province, logged into a gambling website named "Kakawan." A customer service representative contacted him, offering a bonus to triple his money if he deposited 100 yuan in his account.

Initially experiencing some winnings, Yuan continued playing in the hopes of further success. However, his luck soon turned, resulting in substantial losses and the drain of his savings over 100,000 yuan. This prompted him to report the incident to local police.

Further reports led local police to establish a task force, eventually uncovering a Philippine-based syndicate managing three online gambling platforms specifically targeting Chinese citizens.

Investigations revealed the network, comprising over 300 individuals, recruited Chinese nationals for various roles, often with promises of high salaries. Despite knowing the illegality, many were lured by the financial incentives and actively promoted the operation, expanding the group's Chinese clientele.

Authorities discovered that many victims, like Yuan, fell into debt due to gambling losses, while some even recruited others, further expanding the network's reach.

Seizing an opportunity when many suspects returned to China for vacation, a coordinated arrest operation was launched in June across 20 provinces, apprehending key figures.

To date, 93 suspects have been arrested, numerous mobile phones and bank cards confiscated, and 50 suspects are undergoing trial.

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