Authorities in China’s Shandong province have taken down an online gambling ring following an eight-month investigation. The CRI English news outlet reported that police in Jinan city had detained 39 individuals connected with the ring, which is believed to have handled over RMB 60b (US $9.7b) in wagers before the whip came down.
Without getting into specifics, the authorities claimed the operation worked by connecting Chinese gamblers with “casinos in different countries in Southeast Asia.” The suggestion appears to be that local agents in China hooked gamblers up with live-dealer casino feeds from operations based in neighboring countries.
Public Security Bureau vice director Han Lei said a search of 250k “pieces of data” had revealed 4k “suspicious account numbers” which ultimately led to 60 suspects in Jinan. The ring is believed to have also operated in Fujian and Yunnan provinces.
China Central Television reported that police had received a tip-off from China’s central bank last March regarding a suspiciously large flow of money into a casino in an unnamed Southeast Asian country. Baimashan Police Station deputy director Wang Xudong said the flow of money was “abnormal … in millions and billions of yuan, not in a normal business way.”
Shortly before the new year, Xinhua reported that China’s Ministry of Public Security had arrested 87k suspects involved in gambling and prostitution in 2014. Police across China closed over 37k criminal cases involving those two vices last year, but only 20 of these cases were made public. China’s success in combatting online gambling recently led Malaysia to seek Beijing’s help in battling online gambling within its own borders.