SHAH ALAM: Selangor police have busted a major illegal football betting syndicate, believed to be raking in bets worth RM15.1 mil, with the arrest of 23 suspects since Tuesday.
Selangor Acting CID Chief ACP Omar Mamah said Friday that the 23 suspects, including nine Indonesian women, were detained in 10 of the 13 raids carried out by police at houses and restaurants in Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Klang, Ampang and Kuala Langat.
From the RM15.1mil bets identified, three premises accounted for RM5mil bets each in Taman Bukit Mayang Emas, Petaling Jaya, USJ Subang Jaya and Taman Puchong Impian, Puchong, he said.
Omar said 14 of the 23 detained were locals, including a woman, aged between 15 and 45 while the nine Indonesian were between 20 and 36 years.
Their modus operandi of accepting bets was through the internet, telephone, bookies, agents and also restaurants that acted as centres for accepting bets.
"There were restaurant owners who knew that some of their customers were carrying out betting activities on their premises," he said.
Initial investigations also revealed that there were bookies who offered loans to encourage prospective 'clients'.
He said that during the raids, police had seized five desktop computers, eight laptop computers, 10 hand phones, a printer, six modems, three betting slips, a cheque book, a pager, a fixed phone and RM1,295 cash.
Omar, who attributed the success to close cooperation and information from the public said police would continue monitoring such activities throughout the World Cup competition in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said Friday that the police had traced several more online football betting syndicates involved in bets amounting to millions of ringgit after smashing two syndicates, one here and the other in Ipoh, recently.
He said individuals involved in the syndicates had been identified and the police were conducting investigations.
"We are still investigating certain people whom we have identified to be involved in the betting syndicates," he told reporters after a meeting of the Vehicle Theft Reduction Council of Malaysia (VTREC).
He said the police would detain not only the bookies but also those who placed bets.
Ismail, who is chairman of VTREC, said that since the council was set up three years ago, the number of vehicle thefts had dropped by 9.18% from 2008 to 2009 and 13.99% from 2009 to May this year.
Besides the police, the council also has representatives from the Road Transport Department (JPJ), Customs, insurance companies and vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. - Bernama