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Guangdong police bust major Mark 6 lottery operation
( 2003-09-20 09:54) (China Daily)

Guangdong police announced on Friday they recently busted a major underground Mark 6 gambling operation in the city of Yunfu.

More than 15 million yuan (US$1.81 million) in cash for betting in the Mark 6 lottery was seized and nine suspects were detained for further investigation, according to Zhang Yongqiang, deputy director-general of Guangdong's Provincial Bureau of Public Security.

Zhang said it was the largest Mark 6 bust in Guangdong since a province-wide gambling crackdown was launched in mid-July.

Mark 6 is illegal on the Chinese mainland, where it is known as ``Liuhecai'' But the game is legal in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

Zhang said that as a result of the bust, a major gambling gang formerly active in Yunfu in the western part of Guangdong is believed to have been smashed.

The Yunfu case is just one of many gambling operations that have been shut down in Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong and Macao, since the special campaign was launched.

More than 1,600 secret Mark 6 lottery outlets have been destroyed in the province over the past two months, and the campaign will continue until October 18.

By Thursday, police across the province had smashed 249 gambling gangs, detaining a total of 1,577 suspects and seizing more than 23.7 million yuan (US$2.36 million), Zhang said. Three automobiles and computers, fax and photocopy machines, printers, and mobile phones have also been confiscated.

The suspects include bankers and gamblers from bordering Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan Province, Zhang said.

The Mark 6 gambling crackdown in Guangdong has focused mainly on the cities of Yunfu, Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, Meizhou, Jieyang, Dongguan, Shantou, Zhaoqing, Chaozhou, Heyauan, Huizhou and Zhanjiang. Most cities in the coastal province have established special police departments or task forces to co-ordinate the effort.

Zhang urged all individuals involved with gambling, including bankers, to confess their crimes to the police or relevant government departments as soon as possible, adding the police will continue the fight against underground Mark 6 operations and all other illegal gambling activities.

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