GAMBLERS in Sepang will be missing their lucky chairs, following a joint operation by several city councils that confiscated furniture in addition to the usual computers from illegal gambling dens.
Sepang Municipal Council (MPSepang) operation chief Supt Hairol Azman Razali, who led the operation, said the new strategy gave more of a sting to operators of online casinos, as while their computers were rented, the furniture belong to them.
“Renting computers cost about RM1,000 a month per premise with 30 PCs. It’s the tables and chairs that are actually more expensive to replace,” he said.
He added that about 30% of operators had even resorted to physical violence, in their attempt to stop officers from taking furniture.
On Friday, MPSepang’s enforcement arm had its largest joint operation titled Operasi Subuh Perjudian Terbuka in collaboration with 10 other councils including Seremban, Klang, Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Selayang, Kuala Selangor and several others.
The majority of the team was from MPSepang, with 72 staff, while the other councils added another 75 to the manpower.
The group raided 21 premises across four areas: Putra Perdana, Dengkil, Kota Warisan Dalam and Kota Warisan Luar.
Supt Hairol said they confiscated 747 items comprising 573 computers and 174 chairs.
“The haul today was decent, though not much more than if done by a smaller group. The problem with a larger contingent is that tontos are more likely to find out about it.
“That’s why we need this new strategy. If tontos hear we are coming for their PC, they sapu licin (will clear everything),” he said.
Supt Hairol said there were several tontos trailing each team, adding that one was outside his house as early as 5.30am.
Although the first few locations raided were caught unawares, several hours into the operation MPSepang officers noted that the computers had been cleared away, with one location even hiding its chairs.
Supt Hairol said it was a constant effort to keep the premises in check, but the authorities could not afford to take it lightly as there were many complaints of wayward husbands and schoolchildren gambling.
“It is so lucrative, so the syndicates can afford to ‘restock’ the locations,” he said, adding that there were 94 identified gambling dens in Sepang alone, with each estimated to rake in up to RM10,000 a night.
He said MPSepang had confiscated 7,200 computers as of May, though it had only confiscated chairs in two raids so far.