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CIB, Chinese police unite in online gambling sting

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) cooperated with the Chinese public security department to take down an online gambling ring which used the third-party payment method in its scheme.

Entertainment website “Golden Cruise Casino” (金船娛樂城) was flagged by the CIB as a potential website conducting criminal activities via legal loopholes. The company has since been under CIB surveillance, which, after a long investigation, exposed the operational mechanism of the website.

Acting as the third-party, the company made profits from virtual transactions from online players to gambling sites. Through the benefit of local convenience stores such as 7-eleven, FamilyMart, Hi-Life and OK Mart, players need to simply print billing sheets from the gambling sites to conduct bill payments after losing, and conduct face-to-face payments with members of the Golden Cruise Casino if coming out winners. Under the cover of a legitimate gaming points and credits exchange site, the company was in reality a money-laundering front for various gambling-sites.

Since listing the company as a potential suspect, the CIB found the case a hard one to build, as not only was online gambling through the exchange of cash to virtual credits legal, the trend has been the model for online gaming in Asia. The fact that the Taiwanese company also based its Web host in Canada and its customer service in mainland China also drew back the progress of investigations.

By taking advantage of the recent cooperation with mainland China as well as newly proposed mechanisms on the fight against cross-straight cyber crimes, the CIB was able to pinpoint the IP address of the suspects with the aid of mainland authorities.

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