Hong Kong gang busted over illegal gambling website
A Hong Kong gang that raked in HK$40m (US$5m) in illegal bets has been arrested by local police.
The gang took in the amount in just over four months and laundered the cash through 25 different bank accounts, according to Hong Kong police.
Following a raid on Wednesday, the police arrested seven members of the criminal enterprise – including what the investigation believed to be the two core members – and seized mobile phones, bank cards, computers and other documents.
Senior Inspector Lo Chun-hei said following the raid: “The syndicate then offered a monetary reward to lure local residents into setting up accounts with virtual banks.”
He said the core members used the accounts to collect illegal bets and launder the money through frequent online transfers in an effort to “cover up the flow of the funds and avoid police detection.
“The investigation showed the syndicate used 25 bank accounts to handle HK$40m in suspected crime proceeds between April and July.”
The suspects, one of which was found to have a small amount of crystal meth, were aged between 19-56 and paid between HK$500 and HK$2,000 each. Currently, police are still investigating and said further arrests were possible in conjunction with the case.
The punishment for running illegal gambling in Hong Kong depends on the type of gambling offered, with bookmaking potentially earning a defendant a HK$5m fine and seven years in jail.
Meanwhile, being found guilty of placing a bet will earn any offenders nine months in prison and a HK$50,000 fine.