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146 Arrested for Soccer Gambling in Shenzhen
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Shenzhen police have arrested at least 146 people engaged in illegal soccer betting during the World Cup 2006 and confiscated more than 30 million yuan (US$3.75 million) in betting funds, a spokesman for the municipal public security bureau said Monday.

The largest gambling racket involving 46 members was smashed last week, with 1.32 million yuan in gambling money seized, 7-million-yuan deposits frozen and five luxury cars confiscated. Three of the 46 suspects are Taiwanese.

The raid, organized by the provincial public security department along with Shenzhen and Dongguan police, was praised by the Ministry of Public Security in a recent telegraph, the bureau said at a news conference.

The gang, led by a Taiwanese man in his 40s surnamed Lin, was targeted by the police since June 23 after a tipoff.

Seven other local bookmakers responsible for managing three soccer gambling Web sites and accounts, and Lin's bodyguard were also put under 24-hour surveillance by the police.

Lin, his bodyguard and a gambling Web site operator were finally arrested by the police in a pre-dawn raid in Nanshan District on July 5.

Five operators of soccer betting Web sites were arrested in Futian District following the raid.

"We found two gambling sites in Futian and Bao'ao districts during the action. At least 1.38 million yuan of gambling money, including HK$110,000 and US$7,000, was seized during the two separate raids, another 7 million yuan in 35 accounts was frozen, 49 computers and five luxury cars were seized," said Wang Weidong, spokesman for the bureau.

He revealed that a total of 156 policemen had worked on the case.

Lin admitted he had been conducting illegal soccer betting for one year and owned two betting Web sites. His agent in Dongguan, nicknamed "Ah Wang," was arrested in early July by Dongguan police.

The police also arrested at least 100 bookmakers and seized 30 million yuan in gambling money in 20 raids.

"We will keep cracking down on soccer gambling after the World Cup matches," he said at the conference. "Gambling at bars, restaurants and hotels are the main targets for the police."

(Shenzhen Daily July 12, 2006)

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