Interpol cracks down on illegal football betting

More than 4,100 people have been arrested worldwide in operations targeting illegal betting during the Euro 2016 football tournament, said Interpol on Monday.

More than 4,000 raids were carried out across China, France, Greece Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, with more than $13.6 million seized across Asia alone.

“The number of seizures is the highest and most significant amongst similar operations in recent years. The SOGA (short for soccer gambling) operations are important for tackling not just illegal gambling, but also the organised networks behind this and other types of crime,” said Chief Superintendent Chan Lok-wing, head of Hong Kong’s Organised Crime and Triad Bureau.

A second operation targeted transnational networks behind illicit websites and call-center type operations running online scams, added Interpol.

Three Thai offices of illegal online gambling sites were shut down, and 15 people were arrested in Malaysia linked to payment card fraud, they said.

Earlier this month, China’s Ministry of Public Security arrested a total of 236 suspects for their involvement in illegal football gambling.

Over RMB 28 million (US$4.2 million) was seized or frozen in cases involving overseas gambling websites, said MPS in a statement.