DESPITE the authorities keeping a watchful eye on gambing dens in Taman Sri Manja, Petaling Jaya, the illegal activity continues.
Apparently, the culprits have found many ways and techniques to evade enforcement officers and have been actively running the business, in some places even for 24 hours.
These dens, located at shoplots and apartments, are also using the back alleys entrances to the premises to prevent from being found out.
People manning food stalls located opposite these gambling dens also keep a watchful eye for suspicious characters entering the den, for fear of the enforcement authorities.
StarMetro checked out the gambling dens and observed the goings-on there for about four hours after receiving complaints from the public on this illegal business recently.
At one of the premises, reporters tried to enter the gambling room, but after a long wait, were unsuccessful getting permission to do so.
During the observation, the gamblers, believed to be regular customers, were seen pressing a button on a handphone-like device to open a hidden door to enter a room believed to be the gambling room.
After knocking on the shutters and doors, the operators did not let the reporters in unless they were regular customers.
Unlike other gambling dens where motorcycles were parked outside, at this place, there were no motorcycles outside as the customers used the back entrances.
StarMetro received a tip-off from a reader on the active gambling dens in Taman Sri Manja and called for the relevant enforcement authorities to raid and close them down as they posed to be a nuisance to residents.
The complainant had also stated that the gambling dens had been operating for six years.
He said eight gambling dens were located at both Jalan PJS 3/46 and PJS 3/48.
It was also stated that 24-hour operating dens with hidden doors and close-circuit television cameras had people standing guard to warn the operators if enforcement authorities were present.
While one of the shops mentioned at Jalan PJS3/48 had a guard, a few more, including one at Jalan PJS3/46 had the entrance at the back of the shop.
Two other gambling dens at Jalan PJS3/46 was frequented by customers between 1pm and 9pm.
Petaling Jaya mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain said the council had raided cybercafes with gambling dens several times since last year.
“Last year, we raided 31 centres, and items in 29 of them were seized while two centres were issued with summonses.
“From January to August this year, we raided 11 centres where items in three of these centres were seized and eight was issued summonses.
“We have done our part and this illegal gambling dens are under the police jurisdiction,’’ he said.
Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Azmi Abu Kassim said the police had raided these places several times this year, and have even ordered the closure of several gambling dens.
“Somehow, the operators would close their premises for a week or two and then start operations again.
“These operators have informers and some operate for 24 hours with people on the lookout for the authorities.
“They (the operators) are also well informed on when the authorities are raiding the dens.
“We will continue to raid these gambling dens until they are completely shut,’’ he said.