666BET Director Paul Bell Arrested in a £21 Million Fraud Investigation
666BET director Paul Bell was recently arrested in relation to a £21 million ($31.2 million) fraud and money-laundering investigation as part of a multi-jurisdiction investigation by the UK HM Revenue & Customs, Isle of Man Constabulary, and Cheshire Constabulary and Guernsey Border Agency.
Bell was originally arrested at London Heathrow Airport before being released and re-arrested the following day when arriving at the Isle of Man by private jet.
Six other people were also detained as part of the investigation. Additionally, 13 properties were raided and £1 million ($1.5 million) in cash seized.
According to The Independent, Bell relayed through on unnamed source that he "vigorously denied any wrongdoing."
As a result of the arrest, Metro Play, which operates the 666BET and Metro Play brands, had their gaming licenses suspended by the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC).
Customers who try to access 666BET or Metro Play are receiving a maintenance message suggesting the site will only be down for a few hours while undergoing maintenance to improve the experience of its players.
It was reported on eGaming Review that customers of the affected gaming sites are so far unable to request any withdrawals of their funds, despite the Gambling Commission stating that the licence suspension should not prevent money being returned that is owed to customers and the AGCC issuing a hearing notice to immediately process all fund withdrawal requests.
Meanwhile, 666BET and Metro Play are distancing themselves from Bell by denying the companies were anyway involved in what they are calling Bell's "other business interests."
666Bet's Head of Brand Neil Andrews said in an email, "I can categorically state the [police] investigation does not relate to 666Bet’s activities in the gaming world."
According to eGaming Review, 666BET and Metro Play executives are working to get the site back up in the coming weeks, potentially through a white-label arrangement with platform provider EveryMatrix.
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