An illegal online gambling operation by a criminal ring based in Taoyuan has been shut down, the Criminal Investigation Bureau said yesterday, adding that the Web site handled NT$1 billion (US$32.47 million) in bets over the past six months.
Police earlier this month raided several places in Jhongli District (中壢), arresting a number of suspects, including the two suspected leaders surnamed Peng (彭) and Hsu (徐), the bureau said.
“Police entered Peng’s residence in Jhongli, seizing money-counting machines and computers, as well as two telephones, account books, NT$1.72 million in cash and other material,” Fourth Investigation Corps Captain Chang Yao-han (張躍瀚) said.
Chang said the Web site was linked to the China-based site Beijing Auto Racing PK10 (北京賽車PK10), reportedly one of the most popular forms of online gambling.
The site offers rewards for betting on major sports events, an online lottery, bingo and simulated auto racing games.
Taiwanese placed about NT$20 million in bets each week with the Taoyuan group, totaling about NT$1 billion in the past six months, Chang said.
On Sept. 5, officers raided a residential building, where they found computers and communication equipment used to run an illegal gambling Web site, the bureau said, adding that Hsu was in charge, along with four alleged members of the criminal ring.
The officers also found that Hsu and the others were using ketamine, the bureau said, adding that they would also be charged for possession of illegal drugs.
Investigators quoted Hsu as saying during questioning that he and higher-ranking members of the group received permission from the site’s Chinese operators to set up a branch in Taiwan under a profit-sharing arrangement.
Hsu said he took no part in the operation and did not handle any money, but only worked as a “branch manager” for the site’s Chinese proprietors, receiving a small commission, investigators said.
He only made NT$10 million, which he had to share with other members of the operation and young people who were hired to do odd jobs, he was quoted as saying.
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