Euro 2020: 1,400 people arrested for illegal betting

In June and July, during Euro 2020, one thousand four hundred people were arrested in the course of an operation conducted by INTERPOL in 28 countries with the aim of combating the world of illegal betting. Investigations in Asia and Europe uncovered $7.9 million (CHF7.2 million), as well as computers and mobile phones linked to a $465 million betting round. “Illegal bets guarantee large sums of money for organized crime and are often linked to dirty money laundering and corruption,” the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) said in a statement.

Hong Kong police have kidnapped 800 suspects, including the alleged head of a betting network controlled by the Chinese mafia, an operation that led to the discovery of $2.7 million and a file of hundreds of millions of bets.

The police also intervened in Italy, taking control of 280 betting agencies and imposing penalties for the illegal activities that were found. The eighth edition of Operation Soga (short for football) included Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Malaysia, Maldives, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

The eight times that INTERPOL coordinated the Soga operation made it possible to arrest 19,100 suspects and discover $63 million. At the same time, 4,000 betting agencies or online platforms (most of the illegal activity goes through the web) that were running a $7.3 billion illegal betting round have been shut down.

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Queenie Bell

"Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar."

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