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Courts Sentence 46 for Gambling

Several Shanghai courts announced guilty verdicts against 46 people involved in 14 separate gambling cases yesterday.

The 46 defendants were given prison sentences ranging from six months to three years, and fines ranging from 1,000 yuan (US$120) to 950,000 yuan, the Shanghai Higher People's Court said yesterday. The cases were tried in courts in Jiading, Xuhui, Luwan and Yangpu districts.

"There are various types of the gambling cases. Some organized a gambling party on the Internet, some gambled on soccer matches online and some just gathered people for gambling," said Gao Yuan, a spokesman for the higher court. "The largest case, committed by a group headed by Gan Jieqi, involved more than 800 million yuan in wagers."

Gan, a local native, was hired by the manager of a restaurant in Burma last May. The second floor of the restaurant housed a gambling den. Gambling organizers also set up a Website, so punters could bet on sporting events online.

Gan called four of his friends in Jiading District, and suggested they set up online gambling parties connected to the Burma gambling Website in order to make some money.

From June to November last year, Gu Jundong, Zhao Xin and Qin Hongjian set up online gambling parties in their homes.

During the period, Zhao Xin and his brother Zhao Feng were in charge of dealing with wagers and handing the collected wagers to Xu Ju, Gan's wife.

Police found after investigation that 17 people have joined the online gambling and wagered more than 800 million yuan.

All the gang members were arrested in November, except Qin who is still at large, police said.

(Shanghai Daily April 15, 2005)

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