|International police organisation Interpol has announced that more than 1,300 people were arrested across Asia last month in a major operation against illegal online and land-based gambling on the Euro 2008 soccer competition.|
The cross-border group stated that it co-ordinated the two-month Soccer Gambling (SoGa) investigation in which Asian law enforcement officers identified and raided 1,088 illegal gambling dens, many of which controlled by organised crime gangs.
In a statement, Interpol revealed that the operation seized more than $16 million and involved police and other agencies in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and China including Hong Kong and Macao. Although officials were not able to give a breakdown of arrests by country, Interpol revealed that the operation led to more than three times as many arrests and 25 times more cash seized than the previous undertaking at the same time last year when Asians placed bets on the beginning of the soccer season.
Interpol called SoGa an ‘excellent base’ for security co-operation during the Beijing Olympics, which open on August 8, and estimated that the illegal operations smashed had handled nearly $1.5 billion in bets.