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Internet gambling crackdown hits Taiwan

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House of Cards Authorities in Taiwan on Wednesday busted the largest internet gambling ring yet on the not-quite-a-nation island.

Although more attention recently has been focused on the efforts of authorities on the mainland to stem a variety of internet-related social maladies, the bust, reported by English daily the China Post, involved 120 arresting officers and biannual revenues of NT$1.5bn (US$45m).

The discovery of the ring was a fluke - investigators were initially looking into an illegal labour racket when they discovered two of the suspects involved in the internet gambling operation. The two suspects, both police officers in Taipei County, allegedly received regular bribes and sex services through the gambling organisation as protection payoffs.

The enterprising operators offered everything from an underground futures market to gambling on Major League Baseball games, as well as lotteries in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

No word on what the payouts were to the offending officers, but we're willing to bet they'll be partaking of sexual services of a different sort in the near future. ®

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