JOHOR BARU: A group of people set up an outdoor restaurant near a temple in Jalan Bukit Treh, Muar, recently but it turned out that the main item on the menu was horse racing results and not food.
The illegal gambling joint was uncovered when police stormed the place several days ago and recovered fax machines, mobile phones and other paraphernalia.
Police arrested 38 people aged between 30 and 55, including six women, believed to be agents of the syndicate which has takings estimated at RM2mil per race.
Two Singaporeans were also arrested in the 4.10pm raid, which was led by state Gaming and Anti-Vice acting head Asst Supt Wan Hassan Wan Ahmad.
Chief police officer Deputy Comm Datuk Musa Hassan said the syndicate mainly accepted bets for local and Singapore horse races.
On the day of the raid, they were accepting bets for a race in Singapore, he said, adding that investigations showed that the group had just started operations in the area.
In another case, more than 16 people were cheated by an Indonesian syndicate over a lottery ticket.
State Commercial Crimes chief Supt Ismail Md Nor said the syndicate, comprising two men and two women, would gain the sympathy of their victims, mostly women, and get them to hand over cash and jewellery in exchange for a winning ticket.
The syndicate members would tell their victims that they had struck the first prize but could not collect the prize money as they were illegal immigrants.
They would offer their victims the ticket at a faction of the money.
He said the syndicate would usually ask for between RM2,000 and RM7,000 for the winning tickets and if the victims did not have the money, they would demand for jewellery as collateral.
Supt Ismail said that since early this year the syndicate had gotten away with over RM50,000 from their victims here, in Pontian, Kluang and Kota Tinggi.
The victims only realise that the lottery tickets had been tampered when they try to cash them at the gaming outlets, he said.
Supt Ismail advised the public to be vary of Indonesian couples who approach them saying that they were in dire need of help.
Those with information on the case are urged to contact the state Commercial Crimes Unit at 07-2254656 or the nearest police station.