PARIS, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Lyon-based international police agency Interpol said on Friday it has nabbed organized crime networks involved in illegal gambling across Asia, confiscating more than 1.7 million U.S. dollars in cash and arresting hundreds of suspects.
During Operation SOGA VII (short for soccer gambling), police conducted more than 14,900 raids at illegal gambling dens across China, including Hong Kong and Macao, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, where an estimated 1.6 billion U.S. dollars-worth of bets were handled, the agency added in a statement.
Between June 22 and July 16, more than 1.7 million U.S. dollars in cash was seized, in addition to 1,000 computers and mobile phones which are being analyzed in the ongoing investigation.
"With the Hong Kong Police Force alone seizing betting slips worth 16.8 million U.S. dollars, Operation SOGA VII owes its success largely to the power of global and regional police cooperation through Interpol," said Tat-Shing Man, Interpol's the chairman of the Asia-Pacific expert group on organized crime.
"Participating jurisdictions made the most of our solid collective experience of six previous SOGA operations which enabled us to clearly anticipate links between Asian betting syndicates and their illegal counterparts operating beyond Asia's borders during the World Cup," he added.
So far, Interpol's soccer gambling operations have led to the arrest of 30,000 suspects and the seizure of about 57 million U.S. dollars in cash, in addition to the closure of more than 3,700 illegal gambling dens which handled almost 8 billion U.S. dollars worth of bets.