Posted on: March 31, 2022, 06:11h.
Last updated on: March 31, 2022, 06:11h.
Police across Argentina have been busy. They spent the last year investigating a suspected illegal online gambling operator, which they have now eliminated.
Argentina police stand guard as they conduct a raid. Simultaneous raids in several cities have dismantled an illegal online gambling ring. (Image: Associated Press)
Overall, according to data from Macrotrends, the physical crime rate in Argentina has fallen over the past several years. This is good news in general, but bad news for those illicit activities flying under the radar.
Included in that group are the illegal online gambling rings, which are harder to detect and permeate all countries. Argentinian authorities just eliminated one of them, though, arresting a number of people across the country.
End of the Line
Legal online gambling is coming to much of Argentina. However, there will always be those that prefer the clandestine alternatives. They live off the thrill of participating in something forbidden or illegal. They also stand to lose a lot more than they could gain.
Federal agents from the Special Investigations Department disrupted a gang accused of illegally exploiting, managing, operating and organizing gambling using social media. Raids in several cities allowed the identification of suspects and the seizure of material useful for the investigation.
That investigation began almost a year ago in May. It followed a complaint made by the management of Casino Buenos Aires SA, which suspected it had stumbled across an illegal online gambling operation.
In August, investigators used fictitious profiles on Instagram and Facebook, pretending to be official agents of the virtual platform “One Line de Casinos Buenos Aires SA.” With this ruse, they captured a large number of remote bettors during the pandemic.
Consequently, the Criminal, Contraventional and Misdemeanor Prosecutor’s Office of the City of Buenos Aires, headed by Mauro Tereszko, launched the next phase of the attack on the illegal activity. Tereszko ordered the office, together with personnel of the Judicial Investigations Corps, to carry out extensive investigations into several homes located in Buenos Aires.
It also spilled over into the Buenos Aires towns of Quilmes, Bernal, Lomas de Zamora Olivos and in the province of Santa Fe. In total, and with evidence in hand, police raided eight properties.
12 Arrested, More to Follow
During the operation, carried out together with the Police of the Province of Buenos Aires and the Criminal Investigation Agency of the Santa Fe Police, 12 people were identified. Likewise, police seized 27 debit and credit cards from different banks, a cryptocurrency transaction card, more than 30 receipts of electronic bank transfers, 11 computers, 17 cell phones, $4,700 and 51,000 pesos (US$459).
Police also collected notebooks with various annotations and other elements of interest. That’s a generic way of saying that police now have their hands on records and other data that could implicate others for their involvement.
The raids may have snared 12 now, but that likely isn’t the end. Follow-up work based on the gathered data and interrogations will result in more arrests.
This isn’t the first time Facebook’s name has appeared alongside illegal gambling. There have been a number of underground gambling pages law enforcement has had to dismantle over the years. There are also claims that Facebook, as well as other tech giants, are actively supporting illegal gambling.