The Aukrust Betting Scandal (#110)

The Aukrust Betting Ring was a huge underground illegal betting ring which was being run in Big City’s State of Big City.

In Big City sport betting and gambling is legal but there is a limit to the amount of money that can be bet and cockfights and dogfights are illegal with serious punishments.

Sven Aukrust was a Big Citian pharmacy-owner who started an illegal betting ring with his friends as a way to earn more money and to have fun. He took over abandoned buildings, warehouses and some underground sewers to make them “hubs” where people could come and make there bets in person since Aukrust didn’t want any digital footprints so as to avoid the police. He employed 8 “hub-leaders” who would stay at the hubs and register people’s bets and conduct dogfights and fistfights, and collect the money. Within a year, over 500 people joined the ring, most very rich and Aukrust earned upwards of a million Amires. He used to avoid the police very elegantly, the moment the police got a tip-off of some hub location, Aukrust used some inside information to quickly change the location and notify each member about it. But with such a huge number of people, over 20 had already been arrested and put behind bars.

Seeing Aukrust, a few others tried to open their own betting circles but they quickly got busted and arrested since their plan wasn’t quite as foolproof as Aukrust’s. The government kept busting members and hub-leaders but weren’t able to shut down the entire circle since they couldn’t identify or find Sven Aukrust. The police had only come to know about Sven’s real name from one of the arrested hub-leaders who was one of the few people who knew Sven’s real name since he started using his alias “The Swan”.

No member or hub-leader had ever met Sven personally so they couldn’t give the police any information and Sven only used a cryptic code on a non-traceable website to send destructible messages. The police had no idea where to start until they discovered a pharmacy registered under Sven’s father’s name; Robert Aukrust. An undercover cop was sent to the pharmacy and an employee was taken to the police station and questioned about him. The employee revealed that Sven had sold the shop to a Gerald Robinson 8 months ago.

A police squad was sent to Robinson’s house where he was also picked up for questioning and it turned out that Gerald Robinson had Sven’s home address since he had sold him the pharmacy. The police then went to Sven’s house which was very close to the pharmacy and it turned out it was abandoned. The police made Sven’s name public and told the citizens to contact the authorities if someone with the same name was found. A few more months of fruitless searching went on until a bartender in a hotel in Fezo (another Big Citian state) told the police that a completely drunk man had revealed his name was “Sven Aukrust” and it seemed as if he had done it by mistake and quickly went back to his room hurriedly on realising that he had accidentally revealed his real name.

Within 5 minutes of the tip-off, the authorities reached the hotel and caught a man trying to leave the hotel, the man was identified by the bartender and taken to the police station for further interrogation. There was still lack of evidence against the man until his hotel room was searched and a notebook was found with a record of every single hub-leader’s name and the amount of money they had collected. On seeing the notebook, Sven finally confessed to all the charges against him and was tried and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment with no chance of bail.

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