JOHOR BARU: Lighter penalties and cheaper operating costs are the main reasons why Singapore bookies have shifted base from the island republic to here.
Federal deputy CID director Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Nawawi Ismail said investigations revealed that Singaporean book-making syndicates also took advantage of the currency exchange in their favour to set up bases here.
“They can afford to rent three or four condominiums in Johor and operate from any one place at any time to avoid detection.
“They'd rather get caught here than in Singapore where the sentences meted out are heavier.
“That is why we only seize paraphernalia related to betting but never manage to seize cash because money changes hands only in the republic,” he told The Star yesterday after receiving 23 luxury vehicles stolen from Malaysia but recovered by Singapore police in the island.
Singapore deputy CID director Ng Jo Hee handed over the vehicles to DCP Mohd Nawawi during a ceremony at Sultan Abu Bakar Complex in Gelang Patah.
This is the second time that Singapore had handed over Malaysian cars to police here.
Three years ago, 105 cars worth RM6.5mil were recovered in the republic and handed to Malaysia in a similar event. The cars were about to be shipped to Australia and New Zealand.
DCP Mohd Nawawi said that local police had shared information with their Singapore counterparts on criminal activities in the two countries.
“We are working hard to nab the criminals,” he said.
Singapore deputy CID director Ng Joo Hee said that investigations revealed there was a market here for Singaporean bookies.
He said that Singapore police had a list of names of those convicted in Malaysia and were monitoring their activities.
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