Thousands Arrested in Crackdown on Asian Gambling During Euro 2016

A fan holds a scarf that says 'Portugal European Champion Euro 2016' while waiting for the arrival of Portugal's national soccer team July 11 in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo: Paulo Duarte / Associated Press

BANGKOK — Interpol says a crackdown on Asian gambling dens and websites during football’s European Championship led to more than 4,100 people arrested and USD$13.6 million (476 million baht) seized.

Police raided nearly 4,000 illegal dens across Asia and Europe, including in China, Singapore, France, and Italy.

Two operations coordinated in Thailand targeted organized crime networks and transnational networks in Asia “behind illicit websites and call-center type operations running online scams,” Interpol says.

Three Thai offices of illegal online gambling sites were shut down, and 15 people were arrested in Malaysia linked to payment card fraud.

Interpol’s head of anti-corruption and financial crimes unit, Jim Anderson, says “illegal gambling generates massive profits for organized crime networks which are often linked to corruption, human trafficking, and money laundering.”