The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested nine persons from three districts in the country on Saturday for their alleged involvement in online gambling platform 1xbetbd.com.
The platform is being operated from Russia and Bangladeshis have likely been involved in the operations, said CID officials in a briefing on Sunday.
The arrested people said that online gambling is more rampant in Meherpur, Chuadanga, and Cox's Bazar. Over 1.5 lakh users are associated with three online gambling platforms including 1xbetbd.com and mostbetbd.com, said CID investigators.
Aditional Deputy Inspector General of CID's cyber police centre, Kamrul Ahsan, said, "Upon investigation, we found that over 70 people are involved in operations and money transactions of these online gambling platforms in Bangladesh."
Online gambling increases during international sports tournaments like the World Cup, Indian Premier League, Big Bash, and the English Premier League. On average, Tk3-5 crore are being transacted a day on these gambling platforms, the CID officer said.
The arrested are identified as Nazmul Haque, Sawpan Mahmud, Aslam Uddin, Murshid Alam Lipu, Shishir Molla, Mahfuzur Rahman Nawab, his wife Monira Akter, Sadik, and Masud Khan.
Of them, Sawpan Mahmud, Murshid Alam, and Mahfuzur Rahman are sales representatives of the Nagad mobile money transfer system, and a sales manager of Nagad has gone into hiding, CID officials said.
The nine were arrested from Meherpur, Chuadanga, and Cox's Bazar on Saturday.
Kamrul Ahsan said mobile financial services (MFS), especially Nagad, are being misused for online gambling.
He said, "We suspect that MFS officials might well be aware of their platforms being used for online gambling."
He said MFS sales representatives of are being appointed without proper verification and background checks. Sales representatives are often pressured to increase the volume of transactions which is why they are getting involved in online gambling payments.
Kamrul said that business SIMs are only allocated to sales representatives and managers, but they were selling these SIMs to other people in different districts and illegal transactions are being made using those SIMs. However, MFS firms concerned are reluctant about taking action against the breach.