Malaysian police crackdown on illegal gambling

Posted: Mar 30, 2023 16:15 Category: Asia, Online, Regulatory, Posted by Matthew Calleja

Malaysian police in Johor Baru apprehended 89 people over the course of ten days for their alleged involvement in illegal gambling activities, according to State Police Chief Comm Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat. Meanwhile, another 21 arrests were made in Plaza Arkadia, Desa Park City, related to an online gambling syndicate.

Malaysian police arrest 89 individuals in Johor Baru

The police conducted raids on 82 shops from March 19 to March 29, resulting in the arrest of 86 shopkeepers and several online gambling participants. The majority of the raided shops were situated in the Johor Baru south area.

A total of 423 individuals have been arrested for online gambling statewide since January 1, with 415 of them being shopkeepers and the remaining eight being participants in the illegal activities.

The police seized RM59,143 in cash, 451 mobile phones, seven tablet devices, and four laptops during the operation. The arrests were made possible thanks to public tip-offs, and the police encourage citizens to continue providing information to assist with such operations.

The suspects, ranging in age from 17 to 60 years old, will be investigated under Section 4(1)(c) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953, which carries a minimum fine of RM50,000 and a maximum jail term of three years upon conviction.

Online gambling syndicate busted in Plaza Arkadia, Desa Park City

On Sunday, Malaysian police arrested 21 individuals, all of whom were locals, on suspicion of participating in online gambling activities at a condominium in Plaza Arkadia, Desa Park City.

Lotteries, casino games, and horse racing are legal forms of gambling in Malaysia, while sports betting and online gambling are illegal.

Sentul district police chief ACP Beh Eng Lai stated that the suspects, consisting of 18 men and three women aged between 20 and 45, were arrested at approximately 3 pm and were found to be targeting individuals from Hong Kong.

According to Beh Eng Lai, the police raid discovered that the unit was being utilised to promote online gambling activities through the use of the gambling website The syndicate is believed to have launched its operations in February and operated for 12 hours per day, from noon onwards.

“Eight of the suspects had criminal records. One of them, aged 35, served as the syndicate’s supervisor, whereas the others were customer service officers,” he remarked during the press conference held at the Sentul district police headquarters (IPD).

The supervisor earned a salary of RM10,000, while the customer service officers were responsible for finding around five players or customers each day through social media channels like WhatsApp and Facebook, and received roughly RM4,000.

Once players were identified, they were instructed to deposit funds into the gambling account provided, which would then be credited to their account, enabling them to participate in various online gambling applications.

“Each customer needs to deposit a minimum of HK$100 to register as a member. The syndicate had successfully received a profit of around HK$600,000 (RM336,314.35) in one month of operations,“ he said.

Beh stated that the police had confiscated 21 computers and 65 mobile phones, with an estimated total value of RM400,000. He further confirmed that all of the suspects had been remanded for four days and will remain in custody until tomorrow.

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