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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hong Kong Police Nab 22 Individuals on Gambling Charges

Casino News Daily
Hong Kong Police Nab 22 Individuals on Gambling Charges

Hong Kong police arrested a total of 48 people for providing and participating in illegal gambling services, suspected ties with triads and organized crime, and conducting other illegal activities on the territory of the city in the last round of raids as part of a larger crackdown.

Local news outlets reported citing information from Hong Kong police that 22 people were nabbed on gambling charges earlier today as part of the three-month Thunderbolt 18 operation aiming to purge illegal activities from taking place in Hong Kong. Police officers raided two residential units in the city’s North Point to arrest the suspects and seize HK$25,500 (approximately $3,200) in cash, arcade game machines, gaming cards, and two accounting books containing information about wagers taken.

Two of the individuals were arrested on suspicion of operating illegal gambling establishments, while the other 20 were arrested for gambling. All detained individuals are to be questioned.

Under Hong Kong laws, people providing illegal gambling services face penalties of up to HK$5 million and jail time of up to seven years. As for individuals engaging in illegal gambling activities, they can be entitled to fines of up to HK$30,000 and up to nine months in jail.

Thunderbolt 18 Operation

The Thunderbolt 18 operation was held over three months and officially ended today. It involved police raiding properties across Hong Kong where suspected illegal activities were taking place and people with links to the triads and other criminal organizations were believed to be residing.

During the first two months of the operation, Hong Kong police detained over 3,000 individuals, seized illegal betting records worth more than HK$220 million (approximately $28 million) as well as illegal drugs and other goods. The operation also saw the closure of more than 3,000 gambling dens and other illegally operated facilities during its first months, according to information by Hong Kong police.

One of the raids involved the confiscation of HK$77 million worth of betting records back in June. The raid was conducted by Hong Kong and Shenzhen police. As many as 50 people were arrested for their participation in the massive cross-border bookmaking ring that targeted customers ahead of and during the 2018 World Cup.

Packed with exciting twists and turns, this year’s edition of the major football championship saw record betting volumes and the Asia-Pacific region was leading the way, even though betting on sports is mostly illegal in that part of the world.

Authorities from around the region ramped up their efforts to crack down on the provision of betting services, but billions of dollars were still wagered illegally during the Russia World Cup by Asian bettors. The rise in betting volumes was attributed to the easier access to betting services through smartphones and various apps and the much smaller time difference between Russia and other Asian countries.

The post Hong Kong Police Nab 22 Individuals on Gambling Charges appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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