Johor gambling syndicate operating from kopitiams, restaurants, crippled

Halim Said

JOHOR BARU: Police have brought down an illegal gambling syndicate which used local kopitiams and restaurant outlets in the state as fronts for its operations.

On Friday, police raided 26 such premises in Batu Pahat and Kota Tinggi, which were found to be fronts for selling lottery tickets to punters.

Police also arrested 26 men, aged between 17 and 49, who are believed to be the operators of the raided outlets.

Johor Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Kamarul Zaman Mamat said 26 printers and RM2,196 in cash were seized in the two-hour operation which began at 4pm.

"We believe the syndicate has been operating for quite some time, and some premises owners were either lending their place to the syndicate, or directly involved with the operation," he said.

Kamarul said the case is being investigated under Section 4A (a) of the Common Gambling House Act 1953 for illegally assisting in carrying out a public lottery.