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Viernes, 20 de agosto de 2004 - 17:00 GMT
China: arrestos por apuestas con insectos
Grillo.

Following careful watching by undercover officers, 115 people have been arrested in Hong Kong for allegedly betting on insect fights. Although cricket fights are legal there, gambling on the results is not. This report from Chris Hogg:

It was billed as the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau Fight of Champions. In reality it was just a series of fights between crickets in a backstreet social club. But the police suspected the battling insects, or rather their owners, were playing for high stakes. They raided the premises, arresting the players, confiscating the crickets and more than a thousand dollars in cash as well as what they describe as gambling paraphernalia.

The police say five of those arrested were believed to have connections with organised crime gangs, known here as triads. The club claimed it was a legitimate business. Cricket fights, which were a popular pastime in the nineteen-fifties and sixties, are quite rare in Hong Kong nowadays.

For one thing the widespread use of pesticides has reduced the availability of suitable fighters. It's reported that a champion cricket can cost more than two-and-a-half-thousand dollars. Those who trade them hunt out the fiercest insects and devote many hours to training them.

Chris Hogg, BBC, Hong Kong

billed as
promovido, publicitado como

backstreet
callejón, calle trasera

high stakes
grandes sumas de dinero

raided the premises
allanaron el local

confiscating
confiscando

gambling paraphernalia
emporio de apuestas

a legitimate business
negocio legítimo

a popular pastime
pasatiempo popular

quite rare
poco frecuentes

fiercest
más fieros



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