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Gambling gangs find it tough in Wuhan

POLICE in Wuhan have cracked six serial gambling cases involving 50 billion yuan (US$7 billion), and have launched a global hunt for seven ringleaders.

Gong Dao'an, chief of the Public Security Bureau in Xianning City, in central China's Hubei Province, said the bureau had spent over a year on the cases.

"We found tens of thousands of gamblers from around the country took part in gambling organized by the six gangs between 2004 and 2009. Most of the gambling funds flowed to overseas gambling groups through underground money laundering channels," he said.

He said police had retrieved 800 million yuan by freezing the gangs' bank accounts.

"We are seeking international cooperation to help cut off the money laundering channels which circulated the gambling funds overseas," the police chief said.

He said the bureau started to check five gambling Websites in 2007 which had received stakes from people in 10 Chinese provinces and cities.

"We found the sites were operated by gang members. Some of the gangs used leased servers in the United States, Singapore and the Republic of Korea to run gambling Websites, and others acted as agents for overseas Websites," said Gong.

He said 27 members of the gangs had been given jail terms, and another 30 were expected to be charged later this month.

Gang leader Liu Qingli surrendered to the police in May. His gang had 18 business development agents and 125 members.


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