15 arrested in Macau in connection with illegal online betting ring

15 arrested in Macau in connection with illegal online betting ring

Those arrested were also involved in money laundering activities to escape police investigations.

Macau.- The Public Prosecutions Office has announced 15 people were arrested on suspicion of being involved in illegal online gambling and money laundering schemes after the SAR police launched an operation with mainland Chinese police.

The gang is said to have created an online gambling platform designed to conduct illegal betting activities and accept illegal bets on football matches. Police also alleged that the group was involved in money laundering, an alleged illegal operation to evade investigations.

According to Asian Gaming Brief, the ringleader of the alleged gang has been in collusion with multiple suspects in mainland China, Macau and Taiwan leading authorities to classify the alleged gang as a “‘cross-border criminal group”.

See also: Macau police against illicit currency exchange activities in casinos

Authorities believed that as criminal activities have had a huge impact on the safety and stable development of Macau’s gaming industry, they placed four suspected members in preventive detention. The remaining 11 must present themselves regularly to authorities and are forbidden to leave the SAR.

Those arrested could now face multiple charges from three years in prison for illicit gaming operations, to 15 years in prison for being members of a secret society.

Police also reported they could face up to eight years in prison for money laundering activities.

Suspicious gaming transaction reports down 11.5% in 2022

Macau’s Financial Intelligence Office has reported that the number of Suspicious Transaction Report (STRs) filed by casino operators fell by 11.5 per cent year-on-year to 1,177 in full-year 2022.

The total number of suspicious transactions fell from 2,435 to 2,199 with 53.5 per cent of reports coming from gaming operators. The figure represented a reduction of 9.7 per cent compared to 2021

In 2020, the gaming industry filed 1,215 STRs in Macau, accounting for 54.6 per cent of reports.

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