Cryptocurrency Worth $1.5M USD Seized By Chinese Police During World Cup Gambling Crackdown

Crime, News | July 13, 2018 By:

Chinese authorities have cracked down on an organized soccer gambling during the ongoing World Cup, resulting in the seizure of more than 10 million yuan ($1.5M USD) worth of cryptocurrencies.

In a statement on Thursday, police in southern Guangdong province said that the syndicate’s unnamed gambling platform ran on the dark web and only accepted cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, ethereum, and Litecoin. During the eight months of the platform’s operation, the site reportedly attracted 330,000 registered users from numerous countries and facilitated over 10 billion yuan ($1.5B USD) in cryptocurrency betting.

Guangdong police accused the syndicate of amassing profits through a pyramid scheme that encourages members to bring in others to raise their own commissions. Police said they arrested six major suspects of the syndicate, frozen about five million yuan ($750,000 USD) in their bank accounts, and confiscated $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies.

“[This case] is the most representative [example] of a new form of online football gambling,” a spokesperson from the police department in Guangdong province said.

The arrests is part of a special campaign to crack down on World Cup gambling. According to Guangdong police, the task force had arrested a total of 540 suspects from over 20 gambling rings, and frozen 260 million yuan ($39M USD) related to the criminal activities. The task force also shut down 70 websites and apps, as well as 250 online chatting groups.