China Police Arrest 93 Involved in $100.8bn Philippines Online Gambling Platform

  • Operators promoted the Philippines site in China to attract Chinese nationals
  • Illegal platform had almost one million members and over 50,000 Chinese agents
  • Philippines operation vindicates Beijing’s creation of a “blacklist” system in 2020
Miniature policeman on a keyboard with cards and Chinese currency
China scored a major win over illegal cross-border gambling after shuttering a $100.8bn Philippines operation. [Image:]

MPS makes arrests in China

The Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS) arrested 93 suspects on home soil connected to an illegal RMB 725.5bn ($100.8bn) online gambling platform based in the Philippines.

mega cross-border online gambling case”

State media outlet CCTV stated that Sichuan police operating under the MPS, China’s nationwide police force, uncovered the “mega cross-border online gambling case.”

While the MPS arrested the near 100 suspects on the Chinese mainland in June, the server for the illegal online platform, trade named as CAGAYAN, was located in the Philippines.

The MPS said the platform’s operators promoted the illegal online site in China to attract Chinese nationals to sign up for memberships and deposit funds.

Chinese nationals targeted

Inside Asia Gaming on Friday cited the MPS as stating its investigation uncovered over 300 people linked to the site’s operations. Under the guise of hotel services jobs with high salaries, these suspects recruited Chinese nationals to move to the Philippines.

On arrival, CAGAYAN staff would train the recruits “to accept online gambling jobs and become core members of the online gambling platform.”

Media reports estimate the illegal platform had almost one million members and that over 50,000 agents of Chinese nationality were involved.

hatched a plan to arrest them when they returned to China for vacation

In order to apprehend the Chinese suspects based in the Philippines, the MPS hatched a plan to arrest them when they returned to China for vacation in June 2023. The MPS split its forces into several groups and conducted police raids in over 20 provinces “including Henan, Hebei and Hunan.”

The result of this carefully planned operation was the arrest of the 93 suspects, along with bank cards and mobile phones. The ensuing investigation led to the recent publicizing of the scale of the illegal platform, with its “running account” of $100.8bn.

China on a roll

The take-down of the illegal Philippines operation is another massive win for the MPS and the Beijing’s commitment in 2020 to creating a “blacklist” system for illegal cross-border gambling tourist destinations, such as the Philippines.

Beijing’s big breakthrough came in 2020 when police shuttered 2,260 illegal online gambling platforms and arrested over 75,000 people. A year later, the MPS made history by taking down junket kingpin Alvin Chau.

The massive fallout from Chau’s demise continued last week when the Hong Kong regulator SFC warned of delisting two Macau gambling firms once owned by the imprisoned gambling maven.

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