Malaysian online gambling syndicate targeting only Hong Kong residents busted, 21 arrested

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Picture source: Kwong Wah

30th March 2023 – (Kuala Lumpur) In a bid to lure wealthy Hong Kong residents, a Malaysian online gambling syndicate has set up a platform known as AEclub365 that only allows Hong Kong citizens to download and play their games. The group is said to be earning over RM330,000 (around HK$585,000) net profit per month from this scheme. However, their activities have not gone unnoticed, as police recently busted one of their call centres, leading to the arrest of 21 individuals, including 18 local men and 3 women.

According to police investigations, the call centre that was raided had a strict policy of requiring each employee to work 12 hours a day and to find at least 5 new Hong Kong customers daily. In other words, the group was targeting an average of 100 Hong Kong residents per day to place bets on their gambling app, which is promoted on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook. The syndicate reportedly maintained an agent in Kowloon Bay and a Hong Kong number was listed on its Facebook page.

Promotion on AEclub365 page.

The working conditions of the call centre’s employees were highly exploitative, as they were required to work long hours with no breaks and were given quotas to meet. This not only put the mental and physical health of the employees at risk but also exposed the vulnerable Hong Kong residents to potential harm and addiction. The fact that the gambling app denomination currency is in HKD further targeted the residents, making it easier for them to place bets.

The police raided the call centre on 26th March at 3 pm, leading to the arrest of the 21 individuals involved in the operation. The group’s illegal activities had been ongoing for some time, with the police receiving multiple reports from Hong Kong residents who had been lured into gambling on the app.

The police have since seized several items, including computers, mobile phones, and cash. They are also investigating the group’s finances and connections to other illegal gambling activities.

Picture source: Kwong Wah