Argentina Illegal Online Gambling Ring Taken Down by Police

Posted on: March 31, 2022, 06:11h. 

Last updated on: March 31, 2022, 12:54h.

Legal online gambling is coming to much of Argentina. But police across the country are cracking down on illegal gambling and have just eliminated one online gambling ring.

Argentina police
Argentina police stand guard as they conduct a raid. Simultaneous raids in several cities have dismantled an illegal online gambling ring. (Image: Associated Press)

Federal agents from the Special Investigations Department recently 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.

The investigation was in the works for nearly a year before the recent raid.

Overall, according to data from Macrotrends, the physical crime rate in Argentina has fallen over the past several years. Included in that group are the illegal online gambling rings, which are harder to detect and permeate all countries.

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.

End of the Line

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 many 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 the Judicial Investigations Corps personnel, 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.

More Arrestest Expected

During the operation,12 people were identified. 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.

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 several underground gambling pages law enforcement has had to dismantle. There are also claims that Facebook and other tech giants are actively supporting illegal gambling.