INTERPOL chief Jean Michelle Louboutin says massive earnings lay behind the cross-continental gambling crackdown that is illegal.

INTERPOL has established the arrests of 1,400 individuals across East Asia; the result of the six-week campaign to separation illegal gambling sites in the area. The operation, code-named Operation SOGA V, had been a joint effort between police from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, and coordinated by INTERPOL, and saw the seizure of almost $12 million.

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Prohibited gambling is rife in East Asia, and bets put through the wagering syndicates, which are generally controlled by organized crime, dwarf the European that is legal and American gambling markets many times over. Since it is clandestine and unregulated, it’s difficult to position a figure in simply how much the market is actually worth, but Foreign Policy mag recently estimated that maybe it’s around $450 billion.

It’s also believed that $140 billion in dirty money is laundered through industry every year. INTERPOL said this week that the organizations broken up within the latest raid were estimated to own managed around $2.2 billion worth of bets, most of those through unlawful online gambling sites.

‘ The results with this latest Operation SOGA are significant with regards to the quantity of bets being handled by these illegal gambling dens, as well as the number of arrests,’ said Jean-Michel Louboutin, INTERPOL’s