Gambling Crime Beat: Human Trafficking Ring Uncovered During Gambling Raid

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
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The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office In Texas say they have uncovered what they believe to be the largest gambling operation in the area.  The county is the 16th-most populous county in the nation and the fourth-most populated in Texas.  It is home to San Antonio, one of the nation's largest cities.

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The operation was uncovered at a North Side building on Blanco Rd near Basse Wednesday evening with more than 100 operational machines confiscated.  About a dozen individuals have been detained.

Law enforcement also believes they discovered a hidden human trafficking ring.

“[We] found a bit of narcotics, we’ve also discovered a 16-year-old young lady that at this point we don’t know if she was a victim of any sort of trafficking, but we do suspect it,” Sheriff Javier Salazar said, later adding human trafficking was something included in their warrant.

There is still much to investigate, but Salazar says this may be the largest gambling operation he’s seen.

“This is the most extensive gambling operation any of us have seen in a couple of decades,” Salazar said.

Maltese Company Involved in €600m Mafia Tax Evasion Scam

A Maltese i-Gaming company was identified as being involved in a tax evasion scam worth some €600 million, an investigation by the Italian Guardia di Finanza has revealed.

The company and the 23 individuals investigated are believed to be linked to the Santapaola-Ercolano clan, which has been associated with Malta in previous cases.

This entity was involved in “betting collection activities and offering a wide range of online products including sports betting, live poker, virtual games, games of skill” and other online gambling services “without authorisation”.

All activity involving the unidentified company was being placed in Italy during the period 2013 through 2016.

Malta, the world's largest online gambling jurisidiction, had previously come under intensive scrutiny for its lax oversight during the past decade, though should caution that the vast majority of companies that operate in the Mediterranean nation have mostly stellar records for integrity.  

- Jagajeet Chiba,

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