Police in Argentina has been investigating an illegal gambling ring which officers have finally been able to bust. While gambling has been slowly obtaining a regulated status throughout much of the country, some have still turned to unauthorized forms of the activity. This is why federal agents operating as part of the Special Investigations Department decided to take down a criminal organization that ran its illicit gambling operations with the help of social media.
In an organized effort to clamp down on the gambling ring, police carried out raids in several cities and apprehended suspects. The raids are the culmination of an investigation that began in May last year and has worked on identifying the network of criminals. Agents were originally tipped by Casino Buenos Aires SA, which identified an illegal online gambling group and reported it to the authorities.
Little was known about the operation at the time, other than that its members had been impersonating regulated casinos and cajoling consumers into gambling online. In August, it transpired that the culprits had created scores of fake Instagram and Facebook profiles to target consumers. To make their con believable, the culprits said that they worked for One Line de Casinos Buenos Aires SA, a regulated gambling establishment in Argentina.
The group was particularly successful in eliciting action from gamblers who had fewer options to gamble during the pandemic. Many consumers were not aware of the exact status of regulation and were easy prey for the criminal group who encouraged them to gamble at unlicensed websites. As evidence mounted in the course of the investigation, however, federal agents were increasingly inclined to locate the culprits.
Months of tracking helped authorities pinpoint the locations of the culprits. Many were based in Lomas de Zamora Olivos, Quilmes, Bernal and others across the Buenos Aires and Santa Fe provinces. Finally, the police had enough evidence to act, leading to the arrest of the suspects. More culprits may be apprehended later on. A total of 12 individuals have been arrested.
The police seized various paraphernalia associated with the crimes, including debit and credit cards from several banks, cryptocurrency cards, computers, cell phones, and around $4,700 in cash. Police are still working on follow-up operations as they do not believe to have completely dismantled the criminal organization. Regulation in Argentina is definitely helping keep the illegal business numbers in the country low.
Meanwhile, Facebook and social media have become a conduit for various unauthorized operations, chief among them – illegal gambling.
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