According to a report from the state-owned Xinhua News Agency citing an official statement from China’s Public Security Ministry, the deportees were among the 99 individuals arrested on April 18 following a joint operation by law enforcement officials in both nations with the “economic criminals” subsequently returned to their home country on Wednesday.
As part of the crackdown, the Public Security Ministry stated that four online gambling sites headquartered in the Filipino province of Bataan were shut while over 1,100 bank accounts containing in excess of $10.1 million had been seized. Although the government department did not specify how long the illegal online gambling operation had been in business, it did detail that the syndicate is estimated to have earned more than $87 million before being closed down.
“[This] is the first cross-border online gambling case jointly handled by the Chinese police and [a] foreign counterpart since China decided to crackdown on such crimes,” read the report from the Xinhua News Agency.
The Public Security Ministry further reportedly declared that it would continue to strengthen international cooperation efforts in order to stop illegal online gambling and ensure greater “fugitive repatriation” of operators that have targeted their services towards bettors in mainland China.
Last week’s joint operation came less than a month after Guo Shengkun, Public Security Minister for China, announced that his agency would seek greater international cooperation in order to continue its crackdown on cross-border gambling while November saw police in the Philippines arrest some 1,316 people thought to have been involved in an illegal online gaming operation based in the Clark Freeport Zone near Angeles City.