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Chinese Police Arrest 90+ in Massive Gambling Raid
Zhaotong Public Security Bureau Makes Major Arrests in Online Gambling Crackdown
On Sunday, the Zhaotong Public Security Bureau made a significant breakthrough in an ongoing investigation into online gambling activities. After nearly two years of meticulous work, the authorities arrested 93 individuals in the southwest city of Yunnan, China.
The arrests were accompanied by a remarkable seizure of CNY900 million (approximately US$124.6 million) linked to the illegal online gambling platform. Although the platform has been shut down, investigators are utilizing the gathered data to identify and apprehend more individuals involved in the operation.
Long-Running Investigation Uncovers Intricate Web of Online Gambling Operations
The investigation began in 2021 when Zhaotong authorities stumbled upon a complex network of online gambling operations. Over time, they observed users engaging in daily gambling activities on various digital platforms, patiently collecting evidence.
A dedicated team of officers worked diligently to determine the scale of the operation, revealing a series of websites utilizing sophisticated and customized software. The investigators uncovered an organizational structure resembling a pyramid, with regional representatives selected by Internet technology firms. Additionally, they discovered a range of game tools designed to facilitate the operation.
Following an exhaustive 16-month investigation, law enforcement authorities launched well-coordinated raids on nine criminal encampments within and outside the province. These efforts resulted in the successful apprehension of 12 gambling platform agents across Hainan, Shaanxi, Guangdong, Fujian, and Yunnan. Furthermore, 10 individuals responsible for maintaining websites and handling payment settlements for the operators were also arrested.
The crackdown involved the closure of over 1,700 bank accounts associated with the operators and users involved in the illicit gambling network. Unfortunately, the chances of recovering funds from these accounts are minimal.
Enforcement Extends to Taiwan as China Strengthens Control
China is exerting its control over Taiwan by ensuring that the territory adheres to its laws, including a strict anti-gambling stance. Recent developments in New Taipei City shed light on these efforts as police conducted a surprise raid on what initially appeared to be a legitimate residence.
Inside the raided property, authorities discovered an illegal casino operating in secret, unbeknownst to many local residents. The police confiscated gambling equipment and TWD3.5 million (US$112,420) in cash. Additionally, illegal drugs, including heroin, were found on the premises. The operation led to the arrest of 16 individuals, including the surveillance manager, Feng Chennan, and the casino owner, Yu Nan.
During interrogation, Yu, aged 58, admitted to starting the casino’s operations in May and hiring Chen as the security manager. However, an anonymous tip prompted the police to obtain a search warrant and carry out the raid on the illegal establishment.
These actions underscore China’s determination to combat illegal gambling activities, both within its borders and abroad. The authorities remain resolute in their efforts to maintain law and order while strengthening their control over regions like Taiwan.