China's police authority on Friday announced they had bust series of soccer gambling rings during the World Cup, involving billions of betting funds.
Quite a number of the betting rings were operated via the Internet by headquarters set up in places outside the Chinese mainland, officials with the Ministry of Public Security said.
In Beijing, police have cracked four betting rings, arresting 24 for involvement in organizing online gambling for World Cup games.
One of the nine computers acting as gambling terminals were found to attract more than 100 million yuan (US$12.5 million) in a month, the police said, without revealing how much money was involved in other eight computers they seized.
A suspect surnamed Guo told the police that he was the chief agent for the overseas gambling ring in Chinese mainland since 2003. Guo earned 90 percent of the betting profits and the ring's overseas headquarter earned the other 10 percent.
The police did not say where the headquarter was based but source close to the police said it was probably in places such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao.
Meanwhile, police in southwestern province of Guizhou have arrested 9 suspects running four online betting rings with headquarters in Macao and Taiwan. Roughly 2.6 million yuan betting funds were seized.
In southwestern city of Chengdu, police have also bust a one billion yuan gambling ring, which was operated by a Hong Kong based Website www.JL788.com. About 2,000 people were registered on the web.
Police have arrested 20 suspects responsible for running the web during the crackdown.
(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2006)