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Police and Gambling Commission secure £140k confiscation order against defendant over illegal lotteries

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing has seen almost £140,000 confiscated from a man who ran illegal lotteries from Middlesbrough.

Cleveland Police economic crime officers worked with the Gambling Commission to ensure the man - who police did not name - surrendered tens of thousands of pounds.

An investigation began in July 2020 as he was suspected of running illegal lotteries from his Facebook page.

These were ‘bonus balls’, raffles and similar games run for his own gain, with thousands of transactions going through his bank accounts.

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Cleveland Police said these types of lotteries were legally confined to charities and others deemed ‘good causes’ and cannot be run for private or commercial gain unless they qualify as exempt in the Gambling Act 2005. The proceeds hearing made a forfeiture order for almost £140,000.

Sgt Suzanne Boulton from the confiscation team said: “I’d like to thank the Gambling Commission for their assistance, particularly in providing evidence which supported our enquiries.

“No one should profit from criminal activity and the Proceeds of Crime Act enables police and partner agencies to confiscate cash, including money held in bank accounts and other physical assets gained through illegal means.”

A Gambling Commission spokesperson said: “Illegal lotteries, including those taking place through social media channels, will continue to be a focus for our enforcement work as we link up closely with police forces and platforms like Facebook to pinpoint not only the activity, but those behind it and those who are breaching gambling rules and social media standards.”

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