Fujian police smash online gambling rings
Two clandestine Internet-based gambling operations, one with a turnover of more than 13 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) per month, have been uncovered in East China's Fujian Province.
And so far, 70 suspects have been detained, including government officials and three people from Taiwan Province, according to the Fujian Provincial Public Security Bureau
More than 880 policemen were involved in a province-wide operation on December 20 to swoop on the 104 known Internet gambling dens, which were in Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou, Putian and Ningde.
More than 140 computers were impounded and 131 suspects rounded up, in addition to the seizure of other online gambling facilities.
The initial investigation shows the entire network was run by two Taiwan-based gambling websites.
A bureau source said they were involved with mainland syndicates in several coastal cities, jointly offering online football lotteries.
Those running the two websites even founded branches in Fuzhou and Xiamen, the two major cities in Fujian, and developed down-stream agents and members.
The websites would carry the schedule, predicted results and odds of foreign football games, in order to lure gamblers to bet over the Internet. The websites, which were strictly run by numerous kingpins, enabled large sums of money to flow overseas, said bureau chief Chen Youcheng, who added that there was still a lot of work ahead to get to the bottom of the matter.
China recently launched a nationwide assault on gambling websites, Chen said.
"Fujian's security forces will do their best in this campaign and crack down on online gambling wherever it may be in the province."
Meanwhile, about 600 people throughout China were recently arrested in connection with a series of other online gambling operations.
All of the operations were linked to another Taiwanese gambling group, which has been working with mainland criminals since last March.