Friday, July 16, 2010


LYON ( - Thousands of Asian gamblers who are alleged to have placed illegal bets on the football World Cup have been arrested in a regional crackdown on organised crime gangs in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. In a large-scale operation co-ordinated by Interpol over the month of the tournament, local police in the countries raided more than 800 gambling dens suspected of taking illegal bets worth $155m, arrested more than 5,000 people and seized $10m in cash. Betting on football is banned in all four countries because of its close ties to the criminal underworld. Jean-Michel Louboutin, Interpol’s executive director of police services, said: “As well as having clear connections to organised crime gangs, illegal soccer gambling is linked with corruption, money laundering and prostitution.” Illegal betting syndicates in the Far East are regularly accused of trying to rig match results across the world – even at prestigious tournaments such as the World Cup. Interpol insisted its operation was focused on illegal gambling but said it would look at the intelligence gathered from the arrests to see if there was any evidence of match-fixing.

Before the World Cup, Interpol teamed up with FIFA - football’s ruling governing body - to create an international taskforce aimed at tackling illegal football betting. Ronald Noble, the head of Interpol, said at the time that “we know illegal sports’ betting is frequently controlled by organised crime groups willing to corrupt players and officials”. The World Cup operation is the third of its kind led by Interpol in the past three years. In 2008, the organisation worked with law enforcers across Asia to raid illegal betting dens during the European football championship. In total, the three operations have resulted in nearly 7,000 arrests, the seizure of about $26m in cash and the closure of illegal gambling dens which handled more than $2bn of bets.

The other side of football has taken a dark episode this Friday. More than 5,000 people were arrested in several Asian countries in a joint operation carried out during the World Cup against illegal networks of football betting. When King Pariksit granted the Personification of Kali, five places for his residence, “gambling” was one of these.

If the process of devotion is followed properly, then bhakti will thrive. The positive aspects of devotional life (yama) are to first find a guru (guru-padasrayas tasmad), follow his instructions and thereby serve the guru and devotees, and engage in daily devotional practices, such as chanting the Holy Names of Krsna on beads, associating with devotees and regularly hearing about the Lord from the devotional scriptures (nityam bhagavata-sevaya). The negative aspect (niyama) requires that one avoid activities unfavorable to devotional service, such as meat eating, intoxication, illicit sex and gambling. Other unfavorable activities to be avoided are association with those not interested in devotion (asat sanga tyaga), avoiding offenses to devotees, the Lord, His Name and anything related to the Lord or His devotees.

Śrīpad Bhakti Bhāvana Vishnu Mahārāja :
“Devotional Principles”
Dec 12 2009 - Krishna Talk 101

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