Nepal | January 22, 2020

Thousands of electronic playing cards seized

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, November 11

Police have seized a large number of playing cards installed with electronic chips that enable players to cheat opponents by formulating a game plan in advance.

Every card in the deck, according to police, comes with a thin chip that transmits information to players via bluetooth device in their smartphones, smartwatches, contact lenses and earphones.

“We have confiscated at least 2,500 playing cards. Of them, at least 1,300 decks of playing cards were installed with chips, along with hundreds of bluetooth devices and special contact lenses from a rented room of Nir Bahadur Karki, 36, at Sitapaila, Kathmandu,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Rugam Kunwar at Metropolitan Police Circle, Kalimati.

All the devices were illegally imported from China.

The cards look like ordinary playing cards available in the market.

“We saw the chips in the cards after we scanned them using a device used for detecting counterfeit currency,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Kunwar. This is the first time police have confiscated such cards.

Police found that the cards were mainly used in the game of flush. Once the cards are distributed among players face down, the devices inform the user which player will win the game, according to police.

Police also confiscated dozens of wallets, belts and props fitted with bluetooth devices that would transmit information to smart devices.

It is learnt that one set of such playing cards were sold at Rs 100,000.

As the festive season of Dashain and Tihar recently concluded, police are still investigating how many such cards have already been supplied in the market.

Police had intensified their crackdown against illegal gambling this festive season in comparison to previous years, confiscating millions from gamblers.

A version of this article appears in print on November 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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