Macau – Police seized betting slips worth about 64 million dollars during a raid on an illegal gambling syndicate believed to be the largest ever uncovered in the former Portuguese colony, a media report said Sunday. Agents arrested three men from Hong Kong and three from Macau aged between 32 and 51 during the raid Saturday night, the South China Morning Post reported.
Police also seized 320,000 Hong Kong dollars (41,000 US dollars) in cash, plus computers, telephones, a shredder, more than 200 bottles of red wine and boxes of cigars.
The syndicate is believed to have been headed by a Hong Kong resident linked to one of Macau’s triad societies.
Police said the syndicate, which had been running for up to three months, took bets on horse racing and football mainly from Hong Kong and Macau residents. They said up to 4 million Hong Kong dollars could have been wagered on each horse race held in Hong Kong and Macau.
The latest raid came two weeks after another illegal gambling operation was broken in Macau, when police seized betting slips hours before the start of two matches in the Euro 2008 soccer tournament.
Macau, which returned to Chinese sovereignty in December 1999, is an hour’s journey by high-speed ferry from Hong Kong across the Pearl River estuary.