Chinese authorities state they have interrupted a “criminal gang” that ran an underground “industrial chain,” arranging journeys for Chinese high rollers to Russia’s Tigre de Cristal gambling establishment.
According to Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces’ general public security departments, the capital associated with the junket operation was around 1.6 billion-yuan or about a quarter of a billion United States dollars.
A joint task force from the two provinces detained 142 suspects, following an investigation that covered more than 30 cities in 12 Chinese areas.
Authorities stated the operation comprised 18 shell businesses, four undergrounds banks, and ten travel agencies. Police seized more than 4,000 bank-cards during the investigation and talked to 2,963 gamblers.
The two provinces remain in the far northeast of China and straddle the border with Russia, near the Tigre de Cristal.
The casino opened in ‘2015’ in Russia’s Primorye unique financial zone, near Vladivostok, exactly to attract wealthy Chinese gamblers throughout the border.
Except for state-owned lotteries, all gambling is ‘illega’l in China. In the last few years, Beijing has come down hard on those who use and promote cross-border betting to its citizens.
The central federal government is set to prevent capital flight from putting pressure on the foreign exchange rate. And the prohibited movement of money abroad for betting has become a massive part of that issue.
China’s Ministry of Public-Security said that about 1-trillion yuan (US$ 145.5 billion) flows out of the mainland into gambling activities every year. This influx was a “hazard to the nation’s economy and national security,” it warned.
In 2015, the Ministry of Culture and Tourists announced it had drawn up a denylist of foreign travel locations that promoted gambling establishment gaming to mainland people.
Hong Kong-based junket group Suncity controls Tigre de Cristal, which owns a nearly 70 percent stake in the casino’s moms and dad business, Top Ascent Holdings Ltd.
. Suncity is the most significant junket operator worldwide. It is not named in any reports coming out of China and has decreased to comment on the scenario.
Beijing is no fan of Suncity. In 2019, the state-run press agency implicated the company of reaping billions of dollars through offshore online betting operations unlawfully targeting the Chinese mainland.