|Police in Israel arrested seven people and detained 18 others for questioning last weekend on suspicion of running an illegal online gambling ring said to be worth tens of million of dollars a year.|
According to the Jerusalem Post newspaper, investigators from the International and Serious Crimes Unit together with the Gidonim Unit, the operational arm of the Israel Police's Lahav 433 unit, and Israel's equivalent of the FBI raided the homes and offices of those behind Tel Aviv-based Play2Bet.com and KG Money Changers in Ramat Gan following an investigation into money laundering.
Investigators allege that several underworld figures helped staff from Play2Bet.com launder millions of dollars via KG Money Changers to foreign bank accounts. In addition, officials stated that the profits from other illegal enterprises were also laundered through KG Money Changers.
Police stated that four of the suspects arrested, Eliran Oved, Aryeh Avraham, David Hachmon and Yossi Ben-Shitreet, have had their detentions extended until Sunday to allow for further questioning.
The Post reported that the International and Serious Crimes Unit's undercover investigation began after the Northern Fraud Squad received information that Play2Bet.com was offering gambling services that Israeli authorities believe to be illegal.
Police stated that they found that the site's earnings were routed through KG Money Changers and then either laundered domestically or transferred overseas, describing a complex system in which bets were placed through regional and group leaders. Access to the site was via a ‘closed’ list with each gambler receiving a personal log-in name and password after placing a significant down payment to cover any initial bets.