28 held for online World Cup betting scheme

Police officer allegedly provided gambling ring with "technical assistance."

Vuvuzela 311 AP (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Vuvuzela 311 AP
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Twenty eight people – including a police officer – were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of running a major online gambling scheme that allowed users to access foreign Web sites and place bets on World Cup soccer games.
The police officer was said to have “provided technical assistance to the suspects,” investigators said. He is being questioned by the Interior Ministry’s Police Complaints Department.
Officers from the National Crimes Unit, the Lahav 433 police task forceand Tax Authority officials raided 40 locations Tuesday morning,arriving at suspects’ homes, as well as offices, kiosks and currencyexchange spots across Israel. The arrests followed an undercoverinvestigation.
Internet gambling was outlawed in Israel in 2007, and the governmentand police have introduced online filters designed to prevent Israelisfrom accessing foreign gaming sites and using credit cards to placebets.
The suspects allegedly gave players in Israel a prepaid card thatallowed them to illegally circumvent restrictions and access the VictorChandler online betting Web site, which is based in Britain, as well asthe Stan James Web site.
In addition to being suspected of belonging to an illicit gamblingorganization and laundering money, the suspects also “failed to reportprofits from commissions, provided partial reports on salaries toemployees, and failed to report incomes,” the Tax Authority said.