Members of an illegal criminal syndicate have been arrested by police in Nantong city, Jiangsu Province, after authorities discovered the group had been arranging for people to visit Macau and organizing online gambling in mainland China.
Eighteen criminals and 100 gamblers are alleged to be involved in the case, described as a “mega organization of offshore gambling” worth RMB1.3 billion (US$184 million) in gaming capital. The key suspects were first arrested in 2018.
According to reports from Chinese media outlets, the main suspect is a man with the last name “Shi” located at Haimen city in Jiangsu Province. “Shi” claimed to be the head of an investment company in Macau and was arrested in May 2018. In April 2018, the Nantong police discovered “Shi” and other suspects had been organizing for mainlanders to travel to Macau to gamble since 2007, and had also set up an online gaming club in Haimen city for players to bet via the internet and by phone.
The security authority said “Shi” had earned about HK$23.4 million (US$3 million) and RMB11.7 million (US$1.7 million) by bringing gamblers to Macau. Gaming operators organized by “Shi” provided accounts in Macau casinos for players, and the syndicate would take commissions ranging from 1% to 2%. The criminal group also participated in illegal underground gaming.
The police also underlined that “Shi” provided chips for patrons in advance and would chase money owed to him afterwards, often using violent means and detention as part of the process.
The Nantong Higher People’s Court announced the second instance of the case in early 2020.
“Shi” has been sentenced to 16-years in custody and fined RMB123 million (US$17.4 million).