666Bet Executive Director arrested on Charges of £21 million extortion investigation
21 March 2015
A director at online betting operator 666Bet has been arrested at Heathrow Airport earlier this week in connection with a £21 million fraud and money-laundering investigation. He is also linked to Harry Redknapp and two premier league football clubs which has now emerged. Former football manager Harry Redknapp was signed for an advertising blitz last year by 666Bet, which announced deals with West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City. Last week, the UK gambling regulator suspended its license.
Earlier last week it was reported that Paul Bell, director of 666Bet, was arrested following as part of a joined money laundering investigation performed by Her Majesty Revenue (HMR) and Customs with the National Crime Agency. In addition to Bell’s arrest six other people were arrested. Along with the arrests made, 13 properties were raided and £million in cash was seized and made inclusive to this investigation.
Metro Play Limited license, which covers 666Bet and Metro Play, for 666Best has been suspended on an interim basis by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). In response to the arrests, Head of Brand at 666Bet, Neil Andrews stated in an email earlier “The investigative inquiry will not be affecting the day to day operations of 666Bet. The website for 666Bet is currently offline with a holding message advising customers that it is “under maintenance”. There is no suggestion that Metro Play Ltd, 666Bet or Metro Play, are involved in the HMRC investigation to date
A former stock broker and now investor, Paul Bell despite being released earlier this week from police custody, was rearrested by Police in the Isle of Man Bell is reported to have interests in various markets, including 666Bet within the gaming sector. Documents from the Isle of Man Financial Crime Unit listed Bell as an individual who is part of an active criminal investigation, although Bell vigorously denies any fault or agreeing to the charges. In additional regulators lists three other individuals and 25 firms also under investigation.
Last week, the League terminated its deal with the firm, while Mr Redknapp, speaking from Dubai, said that he just did an advert for them and that he is unaware of any fraudulent activities. The adverts, which were a coup for 666Bet, also featured actor Vas Blackwood, best known for playing Rory Breaker in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, describing the 666Bet as a “red-hot betting site”