Taizhou police busted cross-provincial WeChat gambling ring

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Taizhou police busted cross-provincial WeChat gambling ring

Police in Taizhou, Zhejiang, cracked a major online gambling ring using WeChat groups, arresting over 40 suspects.

The case, involving around 1 billion yuan ($139 million) and nearly 1,000 participants nationwide, resulted in the seizure of numerous computers, mobile phones, bank cards, and luxury cars.

The illegal operation employed the traditional “Na Liuming” gambling method, where participants bet on the outcome of drawing divination sticks. Led by a 39-year-old man named Ma, the suspects established online gambling groups on WeChat, livestreaming games from locations in Sichuan and Hubei provinces.

Participants engaged in betting and financial transactions through online transfers, allowing the operation to function seamlessly across various locations, as stated by police officer Li Jun.

Acting on a tip received in August of the previous year, law enforcement established a task force, identifying Ma as the mastermind. He and his associates are alleged to have accrued over 40 million yuan in profits during the first half of 2023, utilizing the funds to acquire luxury items.

As of February 20, Ma and 21 accomplices were apprehended, with the case undergoing continued investigation.

Notably, China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate reported the prosecution of approximately 16,000 individuals for online gambling offenses from January to November 2023.