ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Local police and security forces on Monday raided a building in the Kurdistan Region capital of Erbil, where they alleged illicit activities were taking place.
A security force team “stormed an electronic casino in Erbil’s English Village,” Nabaz Abdulhamid, the mayor of Erbil district, told Kurdistan 24. He explained that the operation “was linked to the internet,” and the organizers would give clients debit cards they could recharge and spend on a gambling application on their phones or computers.
“Using this system,” the official said, “the casino was linked with the country of Cyprus and money was sent there.” He said the business was international and based in Cyprus.
Abdulhamid added that four people had been arrested during the raid, including a woman. “The owner is Turkish and is currently not in Kurdistan but on a trip to Africa.”
According to the mayor, only employees of the casino would come to the spot. Clients “would use their phones or computers to gamble from home,” he said.
“Unimaginable amounts of money were illegally sent out of Kurdistan through this casino daily.”
Over the years, Kurdish police have shut many illegal casinos and gambling operations in Erbil and other cities in the Kurdistan Region.
In late October, police forces shut down another gambling operation in the center of Erbil, arresting many who were involved in running it, including foreign nationals.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany