INTERPOL chief Jean Michelle Louboutin says massive earnings lay behind the cross-continental gambling crackdown that is illegal.
INTERPOL has established the arrests of 1,400 people across East Asia; the outcome of a six-week campaign to break up illegal gambling sites in the area. The operation, code-named Operation SOGA V, had been a joint effort between police from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, and coordinated by INTERPOL, and saw the seizure of almost $12 million.
Illegal gambling is rife in East Asia, and wagers placed through the gambling syndicates, which are often controlled by organized crime, dwarf the European that is legal and American gambling markets many times over. Because it is clandestine and unregulated, it’s difficult to position a figure in just how much the market is actually worth, but Foreign Policy mag recently estimated that maybe it’s around $450 billion.
It’s also believed that $140 billion in dirty money is laundered through industry every year. INTERPOL said this week that the organizations split up in the latest raid were estimated to own handled around $2.2 billion worth of bets, most of those through unlawful online gambling sites.
‘ The results with this latest Operation SOGA are significant in terms of the volume of bets being handled by these illegal gambling dens, along with the number of arrests,’ said Jean-Michel Louboutin, INTERPOL’s executive manager of (more…)