INTERPOL (August 17 2018) has announced that thousands of raids have been undertaken and suspects arrested in an INTERPOL-led operation against illegal gambling conducted throughout Asia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Operation SOGA VII (short for soccer gambling) saw more than 14,900 raids at illegal gambling dens across China – including Hong Kong and Macao – Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, which were estimated to have handled some USD 1.6 billion worth of bets.
Coordinated by INTERPOL’s Organized and Emerging Crime Directorate, the operation targeted the organized crime networks behind illegal gambling in the region. With 242 arrests in Hong Kong alone, additional information relating to arrests and prosecutions will be available to global police authorities as ongoing investigations unfold.
During the month-long (22 June – 16 July) operation police seized more than USD 1.7 million in cash, as well as 1,000 computers and mobile phones which are being analyzed to support ongoing investigations.
To date, the combined seven SOGA operations have resulted in more than 30,000 arrests, the seizure of some USD 57 million in cash and the closure of more than 3,700 illegal gambling dens which handled almost USD 8 billion worth of bets.
More information is available on INTERPOL's website.