Cyprus Police Raid Online Gambling Shops Computers Seized

Published Sunday, April 03, 2011 -

Cyprus has been attempting to prohibit online gambling on the island for some time now. A recent  editorial in the Cyprus Mail said, “Online casino gambling sprung up because of loop-holes in the law and appears to be controlled by the underworld. If it was made to operate within a legal framework and tightly state regulated, perhaps the criminal element would be eliminated.” 
With the help of the police the alleged criminal activity has been curtailed a little. Larcana police recently launched a series of early morning raids on three betting shops that resulted in the confiscation of large sums of money, title deeds and other items. This action was initiated with the help of different sections of the police services only hours after discussion to regulate online gambling was completed in parliament. Evidence seized included twelve computers allegedly used for internet wagering as well as a large amount of cash in various currencies and among other things eleven decommissioned rifles and some frozen rabbits.

Cyprus’s Justice Minister Loucas Louca said the police had plans ready for these operations a few months ago. “And they will continue in order to deal with this problem,” Loucas Louca added. “We hope that parliament finally passes the relevant bill so as to offer the police further ammunition to radically deal with this phenomenon, which has turned into a social problem.”

Michalis Katsounotos a police spokesperson confirmed the Justice Minister’s statement commenting that, “police operations of this kind have temporary effects, since the owners of the premises return to the function of illegal activities by replacing equipment each time it is seized.” “We have a legal and a moral obligation to protect and safeguard individuals, families and the wider Cypriot society at large from the consequences of a gambling addiction,”
The owner of one of the three venues was taken into custody charged and then released.  A woman from the Ukraine and a man from Pakistan were also arrested on charges of working and residing in Cyprus illegally.





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