China Arrest Another 100,000 Suspects in Cross Border Gambling Case

The Chinese government produced a display of brutality and proficiency, as the national police simultaneously cracked down over 17,000 cases of cross-border gambling, arresting over 100,000 suspects in the process. The latest figures show that this is one of the biggest gambling-related operations ever conducted by the police, and they have set a scary precedent. The government has launched a plea asking any remaining suspects to turn themselves in by the 30th of April.

Armed police defending against a riot.

Chinese authorities partnered with aggressive units to shutdown Cross border gambling platforms across the country. ©StockSnap/Pixabay

On Tuesday, Chinese authorities conducted a full-scale operation to shut down offshore gambling platforms was completed. The targets included over 2,400 gambling platforms, with roughly 100,000 suspects arrested in total. A substantial mission like this required months of prior planning, organizing authority forces to strike simultaneously across the country. The list includes Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Chongqing.

It’s common knowledge that online gambling is illegal in mainland China and offshore platform setups are becoming increasingly common despite the effort. Online gambling platforms are often connected to illegal transaction platforms, heightening the case’s seriousness as they are often related to money laundering and government corruption. China’s strict regulations mean that criminals convicted of such charges are likely to face years in jail.

2020 was a significant year for Chinese authorities as they established their forces across the country. According to research analytics, after the arrests were completed, there was a visible decline in offshore gambling, which greatly affected the country. Minister of Security, Zhao Kezhi, congratulated the department on their success and reiterated that the stand against offshore gambling platforms has to continue.

Detectives spent months looking into corruption leads before narrowing down the key players in each major city around the country. With the help of armed police, they were able to strike numerous location simultaneously and dissolve the entire offshore operation in one day. Due to this mission’s success, similar schemes will likely continue in the future as the Chinese police reaffirm their grip on illegal gambling.

What Will Happen to Those Involved?

The Chinese Visa office has now invalidated the passports of those convicted of participating in offshore gambling. The suspects are currently unable to leave the country for up to 4 years. These measures directly counter so-called ‘gambling holiday’s where people travel to any country that will allow them to gamble legally and bring their winnings backs to China. As it is considered unconstitutional, their view of these activities is very traditional and subservient.

Earlier this year, the government said they would add more countries to their blacklist system, a set of rules that deny certain countries’ access to Chinese citizens. Some of these include Vietnam, The Philippines, and even European nations such as Belgium and Germany. According to them, these measures prevent the infiltration of outside forces, a nationwide change of attitude would be fatal for the government.

The legislation required for the prosecution came into effect on the 1st of March 2021, and almost as soon as this was passed, the police conducted their crackdown. While waiting months for government approval, this gave them more than enough time to properly prepare and execute their plan to sweep away many offshore gambling platforms at once.

Despite their already substantial jail sentences and travel bans, suspects convicted of conducting offshore gambling platforms can expect to be treated severely. The current human rights scandal surfacing in China has dented their international reputation. They believe that their actions are necessary to counter the aggression they face from online gambling and its repercussions.

Authorities Pressure Those Yet to be Caught

As previously mentioned, Chinese authorities are encouraging any involved parties to turn themselves in before the 30th of April, giving them the chance of receiving a lesser sentence. In their public release statements, they named and shamed many convicts, which sparked debate over data privacy and anonymity. Some of the largest operations in the country were eliminated. The most active organization was named Sands Macao.

The group uses the name illegally; Sands is an American gambling conglomerate that dominates the Las Vegas strip and recently tried its hand to break into the Asian gambling market. The group cleverly recruited mainland China individuals to develop all aspects of their website, such as customer service outlets and gambling game development. These operations received funding from large benefactors leading to multiple allegations of corruption from Chinese authorities.

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Shanghai at night.

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