According to Chinese media, the Public Security Bureau in Huizhou City in Guangdong province apprehended 76 suspects who were facilitating a payment service using Tether cryptocurrency to transact gambling funds.
The criminal ring had been funneling funds to over 120 online gambling websites and investing in various fraudulent platforms. According to investigators, the platform had operated for at least 15 months before it was intercepted by the Security Bureau.
The Chinese platform successfully recruited 3,000 so-called runners to set up their accounts and deposit cash. The accounts were then used by gamblers to make deposits and withdrawals from gambling websites located outside China.
The scheme was rather convoluted, too. Gamblers who wanted to place wager would need to place an order for a non-existing good, with the cost of the made-up good subtracted from the runner account.
Then, gamblers would be instructed to purchase USDT paying via bank cards or Alipay to recharge the accounts, and the runners themselves would receive a commission. The scheme involved a lot of middle-men.
China’s most recent bust is not the first salvo in the war against illegal gambling. The country has been revving up its efforts to stop all efforts to circumnavigate strict anti-gambling laws. China even launched a dedicated platform where citizens can report one another.
While gambling remains a bit of a hard nut to crack in China, the rest of the world is doing fine. Some Chinese citizens can actually access blockchain operators, although the country’s authorities usually look down upon such initiatives.