China continues to be plagued by illicit gambling and related crimes even with increased efforts by law enforcement. According to a recent South China Morning Post article, Hong Kong police carried out investigations from November 2 to December 2, which led to the arrest of 130 people who were thought to be involved in illicit gambling and money laundering.
Five men and three women were detained by law authorities over the weekend for allegedly engaging in money laundering. A wide range of occupations, including managers of beauty salons, bar owners, businesspeople, and transport workers, were among those detained. One of the inmates was identified as the purported kingpin of the money laundering operation, and it was thought that the other four had connections to triad groups.
Investigations by the Hong Kong police indicate that the operation’s head transferred large sums of money using bank accounts connected to other companies. Authorities conducted a thorough investigation but identified no legitimate companies connected to the suspect. Over the previous ten years, beginning in 2013, the suspected mastermind is said to have completed over 600 financial transactions.
Raids on Illegal Gambling Dens
In concurrent operations, the police in Hong Kong clamped down on illegal gaming establishments, apprehending over 120 people associated with five illegal gaming establishments and an unlicensed petrol station. The illicit establishments provided baccarat, mahjong, and gaming machines with fishing games, among other types of gambling.
Raids were carried out in Ta Kwu Ling and Sheung Shui, leading to the arrest of 122 people, ages 20 to 75. There were 64 males and 66 women among the inmates. Significant items were taken into custody by the authorities, including cash, bank cards, papers, and an estimated HK$2.5 million ($320,000) in earnings from the illicit operations.
While some individuals are already facing charges, others have been freed on bond. As they continue to work to suppress illicit gaming and related criminal activities, the Hong Kong police have not ruled out making more arrests.
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