Print Edition - 2018-06-15  |  World Cup Special

Hong Kong police smash gambling ring, seize $9.9 million bets

  • corner

Jun 15, 2018-

HONG KONG: Hong Kong police have smashed a football gambling ring and seized bets worth HK$78 million ($9.9 million) in a crackdown on illegal bookmaking as the World Cup kicked off on Thursday. In an operation on Wednesday night codenamed “Blazespike”, police said they arrested 42 men and three women for offences including illegal bookmaking and managing unlawful gambling establishments. They also seized cash worth more than HK$2.5 million, a large number of computers and a small amount of drugs. “Preliminary investigation shows that those arrested include the mastermind and core members of the syndicate. Some of them have a triad background,” police said in a statement. “The police believe this operation has successfully dismantled an illegal bookmaking syndicate.” Gambling in Hong Kong is restricted to authorised outlets for betting on horse racing, football and the local lottery. Despite the stiff penalties, illegal gambling has grown exponentially in recent years. During the 2014 World Cup, police seized cash and betting slips worth a record HK$750 million. Illegal bookmakers are said to offer better odds and easier credit terms—although failure to repay can lead to violent reprisals. (AFP)

US spy warns football fans Russians will hack phones, computers

WASHINGTON: A top US intelligence official warned football fans traveling to Russia for the World Cup that their phones and computers could be hacked by Moscow’s cyber spies. William Evanina, Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said that in Russia, even people who believe they are too unimportant to be hacked can be targeted. “Anyone traveling to Russia to attend the World Cup should be clear-eyed about the cyber risks involved,” Evanina said in a statement. “If you’re planning on taking a mobile phone, laptop, PDA, or other electronic device with you—make no mistake—any data on those devices (especially your personally identifiable information) may be accessed by the Russian government or cyber criminals.” Evanina, in charge of the agency that assesses and counters the threat to the Untied States from foreign espionage, said that people attending the World Cup, which begins on Thursday, should leave behind any devices they can do without. For devices they take with them, they should remove the battery when it is not in use, he said. “Corporate and government officials are most at risk, but don’t assume you’re too insignificant to be targeted.” (AFP)

Over 1,000 England hooligans blocked from Russian trip

LONDON: Over 1,000 English football hooligans have had to hand in their passports ahead of the World Cup in Russia to prevent them from attending, diminishing fears of a repeat of the clashes with Russian rivals at the Euro 2016 finals. The British government issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the Football Banning Orders Authority (FBOA)—part of the Home Office—ordered 1,312 banned individuals who hold a passport to surrender it to police last week. The latest figures released on Wednesday show that forces in England and Wales have accounted for 1,254 passports. Some 10,000 England fans are due to travel to Russia for the tournament which gets underway on Thursday. Police will keep the passports until the World Cup final on July 15 regardless of whether England have already been knocked out or not. (AFP)

Argentina have World Cup’s oldest squad

BRONNITSY: Enzo Perez’s call-up as a last-minute replacement in the Argentina squad made his country the oldest team at a second World Cup in a row, with an average age of 29 years, six months and 24 days. River Plate midfielder Perez, 32, flew out to Russia after 25-year-old Manuel Lanzini injured his knee, pushing Argentina past Costa Rica as the oldest squad by a single day. Argentina also had the oldest squad in Brazil four years ago, when they finished as runners-up to Germany, with an average age of 28 years, 11 months and six days. At 36, Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero is the eldest member of the squad, two years older than Javier Mascherano, while Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Pavon are Argentina’s youngest players, both 22. Latin American sides account for the third and fourth oldest squads as well, in Mexico and Panama respectively, while Brazil are eighth out of the 32 teams. At the other end of the scale, Nigeria, who will face Argentina in Group ‘D’, feature the youngest squad at an overall age of 25 years and 11 months. (AFP)

Published: 15-06-2018 07:37

Next Story

User's Feedback

Click here for your comments

Comment via Facebook

Don't have facebook account? Use this form to comment