Thousands arrested in 11 countries over Euro 2016 illegal gambling

Coordinated raids were carried out across eleven different countries during Euro 2016 in one of the largest international police operations against illegal gambling in Asia.

France.- Over four thousand people were arrested in coordinated raids in eleven countries for illegal gambling during Euro 2016 in one of the largest global police operations in Asia. In addition, £10 million (US$13,276,000) were seized in two operations in Asia and Europe, although Interpol estimates the illegal dens handled nearly £500 million (US$ 663,800,000) in bets during Euro 2016.

“Illegal gambling generates massive profits for organised crime networks which are often linked to corruption, human trafficking and money laundering,” said Jim Anderson, head of Interpol’s anti-corruption and financial crimes unit.

As part of Operation Soga VI, early 4,000 raids were carried out in China, France, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam on illegal gambling dens. This is the sixth investigation into football gambling by Interpol. A second operation, called Aces, targeted illicit betting websites and call centre-type operations in Cambodia, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

The six Soga operations have totalled more than 12,500 arrests, the seizure of £40 million (US$ 53,104,000) in cash and the closure of more than 3,400 illegal gambling dens which handled almost £4.85 billion (US$ 6.44 billion) worth of bets.