More than 5,000 people have been arrested in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand in a month-long operation timed to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Local police in the aforementioned countries worked with the French-based international police organization, Interpol to coordinate the raids, which also seized around $10 million and targeted gambling dens that did business by Internet and cell phone.
More than 800 gambling dens and $155 million in bets across Asia were disrupted by the raids, according to Interpol, which revealed the extent of its operation to the world media last Friday.
In Hong Kong alone, 235 people were arrested and some $361 million in betting slips were confiscated.
Large-scale anti-gambling raids have been carried out in China and Malaysia in the lead-up to the World Cup, too. Chinese police announced the arrests of at least 800 people for illegal gambling earlier in July, which Malaysia police arrested 120 people at the beginning of the World Cup.
The raids, which took place for the entire duration of the World Cup, between June 11 and July 11, were the third targeting a major soccer tournament. Previously, some 2,000 people were arrested in operators targeting Euro 2008 and the 2006 World Cup.