China confiscates crypto from alleged gambling operation

Police began their investigations two years ago.
Police began their investigations two years ago.

Authorities say the cross-border gambling operation had a turnover of about RMB400bn.

China.- Chinese authorities have announced what’s believed to be the first case of cryptocurrency confiscation through a court ruling. It follows a police investigation of an alleged large-scale cross-border online gambling operation reported to have turnover of RMB400bn (US$56bn). 

According to Toutiao, the investigation commenced in 2021 after a report from a resident of Shayang County in Hubei Province. An informant named Xiong Xong, who engaged in mobile phone gambling, discovered the criminal operations when he noticed colleagues amassing sums of money. 

Officers reported that the illegal gambling operation used cryptocurrencies to make it more difficult to trace funds and the scope of the operation. Police say they have dismantled 14 suspected criminal gangs and arrested more than 130 people across multiple provinces. Computers, mobile phones, and bank cards were seized as part of the operation. Qiu Moumou, believed to be the mastermind, faces trial.

In September 2021, China officially declared all cryptocurrency trading illegal. However, millions of people in the country continue to engage with cryptocurrencies. Online gambling is also prohibited. Last year, authorities signed various cooperation agreements with countries in the region to combat online and cross-border gambling. In 2020, it established a blacklist of destinations.

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