SEOUL: Security authorities here have launched a crackdown on South Koreans who have gambled through a “cyber-casino” run by North Korea’s state lottery company, officials said Tuesday.
The Cyber Crime Investigation (CCI) of the South Korean police said 16 people have been referred to prosecutors for a probe.
Police have also launched an investigation into Hoonnet, a South Korean firm which has jointly operated an Internet lottery and gambling business named Jupae with North Korea.
“The South Korean partner is being probed for opening an illegal gambling site, while others are accused of engaging in habitual gambling,” a CCI official told AFP.
In South Korea, gambling is illegal except at designated casinos.
The CCI official said prosecutors were asked to determine whether the gamblers violated South Korean laws banning unauthorized inter-Korean contacts or exchanges.
South Koreans are also banned from registering with North Korean Internet sites without the government’s prior approval.
Some 270 South Korean gamblers had logged onto the North Korean Internet site last year, wagering 225 million won (US$192,300 or RM730,740), he said, adding police have dropped charges against all but 16 people.
The investigation came after the North Korean casino operator posted complaints on the website of a South Korean legislator who claimed the site had earned more than US$400,000 (RM1.52mil) a month.
Jupae has insisted the amount was inflated. — AFP