Macau authorities raid an online gambling ring believed to have brought in some US$2.74bn in bets.
Macau.- Macau’s Judiciary Police have arrested 27 individuals for alleged links to an illicit online gambling business said to have been coordinated via Macau from computer servers overseas.
According to Chan Wun Man, a police spokesperson, the organisation was believed to have been active since 2017, and allegedly the group dealt with more than CNY18.5bn (US$2.74bn) in bets, from which it raked in CNY25m (US$3.7m), in profits.
The police force discovered the group in March 2021. The alleged syndicate was composed of members from Macau, mainland China, and Taiwan. A total of 27 individuals had been arrested in several mainland provinces for their alleged involvement, the Macau police spokesman noted, 15 people were Macau residents.
The head of the group was a 36-year-old local businessman, surnamed Wong, who started the underground gaming activities with his 34-year-old wife, also a Macau resident.
The illegal online casino allegedly supported games such as online baccarat as well as football betting and other types of games. Wagers for the online gaming activities – settled via routes including cryptocurrency transactions – were transferred from several bank accounts in mainland China to Macau.
During the raid, Macau police collected over US$1.2m, also seizing mobile phones, laptops and routers.
The suspects face allegations of involvement in organised crime, as well as the crimes of running illicit gambling, and money laundering, Chan told local media.