Police shut down giant online gambling site

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Police shut down giant online gambling site

The National Police Agency said Monday it arrested two major players in an illegal gambling website that they ran for one and a half years, pulling in a total of 4.6 billion won ($4 million).

On the website, members bet on potential fluctuations in the Korea composite stock price index (Kospi) 200, forecasting how much the index might rise or fall.

The total amount of money exchanged on the website amounts to 14.5 billion won.

Police arrested the CEO and website manager, a man surnamed Kim, and a person surnamed Lee, who handled the site’s call center.

According to the police investigation, Kim began operating the gambling site in October 2014 from his officetel (a studio flat rented to residential and commercial patrons).

The report also noted that he even developed his own home trading system, through which he conducted financial and stock transactions from his home.

The managers even compiled lists of people who made substantial profits so that they could impede their access to the website.

At the height of operation, Kim and his high-ranking accomplices earned about 100 million won per month, and their employees received a monthly wage of about 4.5 million won.

Kim made no attempt to hide his ill-gotten gain, either. Soon after opening the website, Kim he bought two apartments.

Their house of cards collapsed, however, when one of the employees, surnamed Cho, 40, began sending text messages and emails to members of the site, pretending to be the cyber bureau of the National Police Agency.

After receiving the messages, members began contacting the bureau’s IT financial crimes investigation team, which led to the team eventually tracking down Kim and his associates.

BY PARK MIN-JE [shin.sooyeon@joongang.co.kr]
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