China’s Federal police force have busted a multinational online gambling syndicate reported to have wagered more than 500 billion yuan (£52 billion) in bets and with a customer base of nearly a million registered members.
The arrests were ordered by China’s Ministry of Public Security under fraud investigation Opertion 109. Local news sources report that the investigation into the syndicate had been in place for over a year.
The syndicate is reported to have operated more than 500 websites targeting Chinese consumers.
In order to avoid detection by the mainland authorities, the syndicated hosted its servers in Taiwan with customer service offices in Thailand, the Philippines and Hong Kong.
The syndicate would develop a network of agents and utilise smaller Cantonese and Mandarin betting syndicates to process bets and payments and develop regional customer bases.
In order to carry out arrests the Federal Police had to investigate the syndicate for over a year, detailing that ring-leaders continually changed identities, would use multiple mobile phone numbers and would falsify business operations and documents which made for a complex investigation.
Players accessing any of the network of gambling websites were required to log-in, bypass a search interface, then enter more safety codes that would enable further engagement with the syndicates betting products.
The interface to all websites could be changed instantly in a security breach was detected.
At present the Chinese Federal Police have made a total of 85 arrests connected to the syndicate in the regions of Shantou, Jieyang, Shenzhen, Dongguan and the capital, Guangzhou.