17 Jul 2010

Thousands arrested in Asia over World Cup gambling

12:51 pm on 17 July 2010

More than 5000 people have been arrested across Asia as part of a World Cup operation against illegal gambling.

The international police force, Interpol, says more than $US10 million was seized during the crackdown in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, the BBC reports.

Interpol says police in those countries identified and raided nearly 800 illegal gambling dens, which had handled more than $US200 million in bets.

It is not clear whether results on the pitch at the Football World Cup in South Africa were influenced. Interpol says that will form part of a wider probe.

Interpol's chief of police services, Jean-Michel Louboutin, says this crackdown will also have a long-term impact on organised crime gangs.