$1.5B: Chinese Police Cracks Cryptocurrency Gambling gang
With the FIFA 2018 World Cup nearing its end, the Chinese police have successfully busted a large gambling racket that had been running an online betting platform for football enthusiasts, focusing especially on the ongoing football World Cup. The police in Maoming, in the Guangdong province of south-east China, have announced having busted the betting gang that was found to be making use of digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Litecoin worth about $1.5 billion.
A total of at least 540 people were arrested in connection with this instance of gambling, a criminal offense according to Chinese legislation. Since gambling in itself is illegal in China, any kind of involvement in an online betting portal such as this one is likely to entail heavy criminal charges. The Guangdong Provincial Public Security Department carried out raids in Shenzhen and Guangzhou simultaneously and arrested six key members of the gang. In order to bust this racket successfully, 21 public security agencies came together, with local police authorities from Chengdu and Guiyang playing a decisive role in this operation.
The gambling platform, which had been functioning chiefly via a mobile application, had been running actively for eight months. It had managed to find a sizeable membership of about 330000, hailing from diverse national and regional backgrounds. The operations of this platform came to the notice of the police authorities in May, after which they executed highly coordinated raids and sweeps to bring the ringleaders to justice.
Director of the Public Security Bureau and the deputy governor, Li Chunsheng, ordered the operation against this gang and the Guangdong police took quick action.
It appears that the gambling platform made profits unscrupulously by implementing a pyramid scheme that prodded members/users to popularize the application among acquaintances in order to hike their own commissions. The police reported on the modus operandi of the gang and stated that the bookmaker usually allowed a few people to win by manipulating the odds in the light of the betting ratio and made profits from this maneuver.
By promoting public security threats such as robbery, bankruptcy, theft etc, the betting platform had endangered law and order in the areas in which it was active.