KUALA LUMPUR: The police have crippled a World Cup gambling syndicate believed to have made a RM10 million fortune by bookmaking bets from over 6,800 customers.
Federal Police Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd said the syndicate had been operating using social media to promote the illegal activity.
Acting on intelligence information, the police conducted raids at three locations in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru on July 6.
“We raided two premises in Kuala Lumpur and the other in Johor Baru that was suspected to be operating as centres to promote and customers to place their bets.
“We arrested five men and two women aged between 20 and 40. Cash worth RM20,000, along with a mobile tablet, and 24 mobile phones were also seized,” he said in a statement today.
Wan Ahmad Najmuddin said 499 raids have been conducted with 589 bookies aged between 20 and 45 arrested following the launch of Operasi Soga 2018 (Op Soga 2018).
“A total of RM420,000 in cash was also confiscated and online betting credits worth RM15 million had been barred.
“We also confiscated computers and mobile phones used in the illegal activity. Investigation revealed that registered foreign websites from Hong Kong and the Philippines were being used for the online gambling activity,” he said.
He added that those detained were being investigated under Section 4(1)(C), Section 4(1)(D) and Section 6(3) of the Betting Act 1953 for managing gambling premises, receiving bets and acting as bookies.
“If convicted, the detainees could each face a maximum penalty of a RM200,000 fine and five years jail.
"The police view this matter seriously, especially betting activities during the World Cup season which runs until July 15.
“The tournament not only attracts football fans, but also gamblers who are involved in either conventional or online gambling activities.
“Sports betting is a threat to the integrity of sports bodies that resulted in involvement of players and referees in match fixing,” he said.
He advised the public against gambling and to report the illegal activity to the authorities.
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