Police in Hong Kong have carried out a series of raids and arrested 48 people who were allegedly linked to a triad-controlled gambling syndicate.
Hong Kong.- Hong Kong police have made 48 arrests in a crackdown on an illegal gambling syndicate that allegedly generated more than HK$33m (US$4.2m) in the past two years. According to the South China Morning Post, 35 men and 13 women aged between 21 and 63, were arrested during a series of raids on Thursday.
Police say they targeted seven gambling dens in Yau Ma Tei, Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po and Yuen Long. They claim that 35 of those arrested were gamblers and 12 people were core members of the gambling syndicate. Two sports cars, 10 luxury watches and HK$2m in cash were seized.
Superintendent Lui Sze said: “The syndicate set up shell companies and laundered the crime proceeds generated from illegal gambling businesses through the firms to buy luxury cars and watches and obtain cash.”
According to the police, the syndicate opened illegal gambling venues in the Kowloon West and New Territories North regions after the closure of mahjong parlours and recreation centres following social-distancing regulations.
In Hong Kong, gambling at illegal venues carries a maximum penalty of nine months in prison and a fine of HK$30,000. Operating a casino carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a fine of HK$5m.