The Judiciary Police (PJ) said on Friday they had busted two illegal gambling syndicates, one of which racked up HK$5 billion in wagers on the World Cup in a week – including a single bet of HK$40 million.
A total of 26 suspects were arrested in the operation, which police described as the largest-ever case of its kind in Macau. The two-day operation involved raids on two separate gangs which operated from the same hotel.
Police officers raided the hotel, which was not named, on Thursday and again on Friday.
In the first sweep, police discovered a gambling syndicate that had been operating out of three rooms in the hotel. Officers found betting slips, details of gambling accounts and a large amount of cash. A total of 22 suspects were arrested.
Those arrested come from mainland China, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Handcuffed and with black bags over their heads, some of the suspects were paraded before the media.
“Records showed that [betting] had reached HK$5 billion. It has already surpassed the biggest betting case in history,” Suen Kam Fai, a spokesman for the Judiciary Police, told a special press conference.
More than HK$2 million in cash was found in the hotel rooms that served as the ring’s operating base, along with computers, records and other items.
Police found evidence of the US$5.1 million bet during the bust.
The suspects include four Hong Kong residents, nine Malaysians and nine from the mainland.
In the early hours of Friday, a second raid netted four members of another illegal gambling syndicate operating out of the same hotel.
According to the Judiciary Police, the second racket took about HK$5 million in illegal bets on World Cup matches in a single day. Four mainland men were arrested and betting slips and HK$500,000 in cash seized. (macaunews/macaupost/photo by Iong Tat Choi )