GEORGE TOWN: Police held simultaneous raids at 15 illegal lottery betting centres in the northeast district here today and seized over RM28,000 in cash and other betting paraphernalia. Dubbed Ops Dadu, the joint exercise by Bukit Aman and Penang’s Criminal Investigations Department was carried out following tip-offs from members of the public. Twenty-six people – comprising workers, premises caretakers and customers – were detained in the raids.
Federal Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Society Department assistant director Datuk Rohaimi Md Isa (right) said during a press conference that police raided 15 illegal lottery betting premises at Northeast District in Penang under Ops Dadu, at Jalan Perak, Penang. NSTP/MIKAIL ONG
“We have done numerous raids (before), but this was the first large-scale (operation focussed) specifically on tackling illegal lottery betting,” said Federal Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Society Department assistant director Datuk Rohaimi Md Isa at a press conference today. He revealed that the illegal betting system is quite sophisticated, with even foreign agencies in Thailand and Cambodia betting through online channels. Nevertheless, the bets are localised and prizes are claimed from Penang. Rohaimi also said that the local betting system has changed from the traditional method of a runner placing bets on behalf of customers, to one in which premises are set up and customers can walk in and place bets themselves. He said that the syndicate’s customers can place bets as often as twice a day – by 3pm for morning bets and 9pm for evening bets – unlike legal lottery betting which is limited to certain days and special draws. Meanwhile, Rohaimi stressed that all online lottery betting is illegal in Malaysia. “We do not have online ones here, so they (accept) online betting from Thailand and Cambodia in their illicit activities. “The minimum bet is RM1, but (there is no limit) for maximum bets. On an average day, each premises registers close to RM10,000 in bets,” he added. The premises had been camouflaged as businesses trading in clothing and handbags. Deeper inside, the establishment had special partitions which led into rooms where the illegal betting took place. Rohaimi said following today’s raid, the Penang contingent will make further investigations to identify the lottery betting operators before making more arrests. The case is being investigated under Section 4A(a) of the Common Gaming House Act 1953 for assisting in carrying out a public lottery.
Federal Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Society Department assistant director Datuk Rohaimi Md Isa (left) inspecting seized items and money to place lottery bets at one of the 15 premises raided under Ops Dadu, at Jalan Perak, Penang. NSTP/MIKAIL ONG
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