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Japanese police arrest online casino-related payment agents

TOKYO, Sep 27 (NHK) - Tokyo police have arrested two Japanese men on suspicion of aiding illegal online gambling.

The suspects are believed to have sent money to overseas operators of online casinos for customers to place bets using their smartphones and other devices.

The arrests are the first in Japan of settlement agents suspected of helping people bet at cyber casinos.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police say the suspects repeatedly sent funds to overseas casino operators in place of 18 customers in Japan who bet online in the year leading up to July 2022.

The suspects allegedly started running an online payment service in around 2020 and sent money from Japan to operators of three cyber casinos that they had partnered with.

Investigators say about 42,000 names are registered in the customer data of the agents.

The agents are believed to have received hundreds of millions of dollars in deposits by July last year, when it suspended service, and to have made more than 14 million dollars in commissions from the casinos.

Police have not said whether the suspects have admitted to the charges.

Police have also sent papers to prosecutors on the 18 customers on suspicion of illegal gambling.

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