Canadian police have followed up last month’s dramatic takedown of the PlatinumSB online credit betting operation with a fresh series of raids and arrests on Tuesday. A total of 18 individuals are facing charges after combined operations of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police and local forces descended on personal residences and financial institutions in Toronto, Barrie and London, Ontario. Arrest warrants have been issued for four other individuals not swept up in Tuesday’s action. York Regional Police held a press conference Tuesday afternoon but won’t release the full list of the arrested individuals and the charges they face until Wednesday.
PlatinumSB ran a Costa Rica-based online site to handle sports wagers, but the group’s financial transactions were conducted in person via a number of agents located across Ontario. Police arrested six individuals on Feb. 3 during a Super Bowl party thrown by the PlatinumSB group for its preferred clients. Among those charged with bookmaking, conspiracy and being part of a criminal organization was prominent Hells Angels’ figure William Miller. Two of the six charged on Super Bowl Sunday were among the 18 charged on Tuesday. These charges reportedly involve failure to comply with bail conditions. Despite the arrests and the seizure of the site’s dot-com domain, the operation was reportedly back in business within hours under a dot-tk domain in the non-self-governing territory of Tokelau. Police estimated the group had been earning $1m in revenue per month.
As a result of Tuesday’s raids, York Regional Police Deputy Chief Bruce Herridge said police had seized approximately $1.6m in cash, plus betting lists, ledgers and bank statements. The total amount seized from PlatinumSB comes to $5.5m. The officers stated the raids had “rolled up the rest of [PlatinumSB’s] management team,” and had caused “a significant disruption” to the group’s operations, but even the police acknowledged the group had proven adept at rolling with the punches. RCMP acting superintendent Keith Finn said “it remains to be seen how well [PlatinumSB] adapt” this time. For the moment, the PlatinumSB.tk site appears fully functional.