Date
20 September 2017
Illegal betting worldwide on this year's World Cup finals is expected to surpass the HK$1 trillion wagered on the 2010 event. Photo: Reuters
Illegal betting worldwide on this year's World Cup finals is expected to surpass the HK$1 trillion wagered on the 2010 event. Photo: Reuters

HK police take aim at illegal World Cup betting

Hong Kong police are gearing up for a 33-day campaign against betting on soccer during the upcoming World Cup finals.

Illegal betting around the world amounted to about HK$1 trillion (US$128.97 billion) during the finals four years ago and is expected to increase this year, Sing Tao Daily reported Tuesday.

The Organized Crime and Triad Bureau will spearhead the local campaign called Desert, teaming up with forces in the city’s six police regions between June 12 and July 13. It will also work with officers in Macau, Guangdong province and throughout Southeastern Asia to combat cross-border soccer gambling.

The main goal is to monitor bookmakers that have moved their businesses online and their physical bases to areas with looser regulation, including Guangdong, the report said.

The Hong Kong Police Force’s Technology Crime Division will also keep a close watch on suspicious websites and the Narcotics Bureau’s Financial Investigations Division will monitor unusual transactions in bank accounts.

Action Desert will also tackle crime involving illegal betting, drug, money-lending, and gangs in entertainment venues like bars and clubs.

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