Hong Kong Police Arrest 130 Players in Illegal Gambling Dens

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Police in Hong Kong have released a statement giving details of shutting down illegal gambling dens in the region and 130 arrests during a month-long operation.

There was a month-long investigation in the Sheung Shui territory starting on November 2nd and running until December 2nd. The operation was led by Chief Inspector Au Yeung Tak of the anti-triad unit in the New Territories North. It was started following multiple violent incidents earlier in the year.

The police shut down five venues for illegal gambling during the month-long operation, which consisted of baccarat, two mahjong venues, and another two venues with gambling machines. These were located in the Sheung Shui and Ta Kwu Ling regions.

Most of the people arrested were believed to be members of organized crime and were made up of 64 men and 66 women, with ages varying from 20 to 75 years old.

During the raids on the establishments in the Sheung Shui territory, police seized goods from crime, which included cash and bard cards valued at HK$2.5 million and a sports car estimated to be worth HK$1.47 million.

Mastermind Used Gambling Venues for Money Laundering

Police outlined that one of the men arrested during the operation was using the illegal gambling venues to orchestrate a multi-million dollar money laundering scheme. The man believed to be the mastermind behind the syndicate claimed he was a beauty salon manager, but police were unable to find any legitimate business transactions.

However, they found the man had multiple bank accounts with more than a decade of large transactions. Police believe there are more than 600 transactions, which show that around HK$15 million was laundered through illegal gambling operations since 2013.

Senior Inspector Chan Yeung Chuen, also part of the investigation, confirmed that 21 people had been charged with a range of criminal offenses, including running an illegal gambling establishment and money laundering. Others were released on bail and police state they expect more charges to follow.