Sixteen Hongkongers arrested in police swoop on bookmaking syndicate that laundered over HK$180 million in 10 months
Hong Kong police have arrested 16 people in a clampdown on a bookmaking syndicate which pocketed and laundered more than HK$180 million (US$23 million) in crime proceeds over 10 months.
During the operation, officers froze bank accounts containing HK$6.8 million they suspected the gang bagged through illegal gambling business.
According to police, the ring used an overseas website that offered a variety of online gambling games, such as baccarat and poker as well as mahjong.
Members of the syndicate worked as bookies to find punters from social media platforms to gamble on the website. Gamblers were instructed to pay bookies for game points which could be used as bets and later converted to cash.
The syndicate operated its business from an industrial building and used online banking services to avoid detection while transferring the cash, according to Chief Inspector Tang Hoi-tung of the narcotics bureau’s financial crimes investigation unit.
“Investigation showed the syndicate used at least 25 bank accounts to launder HK$181 million in suspected crime proceeds between April 2020 and January 2021,” she said.