Jail crackdown over soccer betting ring

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 June, 2008, 12:00am

More than 80 prisoners have been segregated at Stanley Prison after refusing to work in protest against a crackdown on soccer gambling in the jail.

The protest came after officers removed 16 prisoners suspected of soccer bookmaking from a workshop in a special operation ahead of the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, which kicks off in Switzerland tomorrow.

Another 88 prisoners in the same workshop with the 16 inmates refused to work in the afternoon to express their discontent with the operation, ignoring warnings, a Correctional Services Department spokesman said.

'The prison management then took disciplinary action against them and segregated them for further adjudication according to prison rules,' the spokesman said.

The gambling was suspected to have involved bets of up to HK$470,000.

More than 100 suspected betting records and unauthorised articles including home-made gambling equipment were seized.

The department said 26 seizures of soccer-related gambling paraphernalia had been carried out this year up to April 30. Thirty-eight prisoners had been disciplined for involvement in soccer gambling and possession of related equipment.

A total of 262 prisoners were disciplined for their involvement in gambling activities last year. Penalties meted out included forfeiture of remission of 2,940 days and solitary confinement of 2,675 days.