Online gambling

Argentina An illegal online gambling network dismantled by the police

Posted: March 31, 2022, 6:11 a.m.

Last update: March 31, 2022, 9:17 a.m.

Police all over Argentina were busy. They have spent the last year investigating a suspected illegal online gambling operator, who they have now taken down.

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Argentinian police stand guard during a raid. Simultaneous raids in several cities have dismantled an illegal online gambling network. (Picture: Associated press)

Overall, according to data from Macrotrends, the physical crime rate in Argentina has decreased over the past few years. This is good news in general, but bad news for illicit activities that go unnoticed.

This group includes illegal online gambling networks, which are harder to detect and permeate all countries. Argentinian authorities have just eliminated one of them, arresting a number of people across the country.

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Legal online gambling is coming to much of Argentina. However, there will always be those who prefer the underground alternatives. They live off the pleasure of participating in something that is forbidden or illegal. They also risk losing far more than they could win.

Federal agents from the Department of Special Investigations have busted a gang accused of illegally operating, managing, operating and hosting gambling using social media. Raids in several cities led to the identification of suspects and the seizure of material useful to the investigation.

This investigation began almost a year ago in May. It followed a complaint filed by the management of Casino Buenos Aires SA, which suspected of having come across an illegal online gambling operation.

In August, investigators used fictitious profiles on Instagram and Facebook, posing as official agents of the virtual platform “One Line de Casinos Buenos Aires SA”. With this trick, they captured a large number of remote punters during the pandemic.

Therefore, the Criminal, Contraventional and Delictual Prosecutor’s Office of the City of Buenos Aires, headed by Mauro Tereszko, launched the next phase of the attack against the illegal activity. Tereszko ordered the office, together with personnel from the Judicial Investigations Corps, to conduct thorough investigations at several homes located in Buenos Aires.

It also spilled over into the Buenos Aires towns of Quilmes, Bernal, Lomas de Zamora Olivos and the province of Santa Fe. In total, and with evidence in hand, police raided eight properties.

12 Stopped, more to follow

During the operation, carried out in collaboration with the police of the province of Buenos Aires and the criminal investigation agency of the police of Santa Fe, 12 people were identified. Likewise, the police seized 27 debit and credit cards from different banks, a cryptocurrency transaction card, more than 30 electronic bank transfer receipts, 11 computers, 17 mobile phones, $4,700 and 51,000 pesos. (US$459).

The police also collected notebooks with various annotations and other items of interest. It’s a generic way of saying that the police now have their hands on records and other data that could implicate other people for their involvement.

Raids may have captured 12 now, but that’s probably not the end. Follow-up work based on data collected and interrogations will lead to more arrests.

It’s not the first time that the name Facebook has appeared alongside illegal gambling. There have been a number of underground game pages that law enforcement have had to take down over the years. Some also claim that Facebook, along with other tech giants, actively supports illegal gambling.