BALIK PULAU: A total of nine people, including five Indonesian nationals, have been arrested for allegedly running illegal online gambling syndicates following three raids here.
In the first raid from 11pm on July 6 to 6am on July 7 at a condominium in Sungai Ara, police arrested three local men and a woman aged between 16 and 21.
Balik Pulau OCPD Supt A. Anbalagan said the four arrested were running a call centre targeting local customers for online gambling games such as roulette, blackjack, poker and slots.
"They also created a website to facilitate their operations and were sending messages through WhatsApp and other instant messaging apps to random people to promote online gambling.
"We believe they have been operating for almost three months," he said during a press conference at the district police headquarters Thursday (July 11).
Supt Anbalagan said a desktop, five mobile phones, three boxes of SIM cards, a wireless router and three condo access cards with a pair of keys to the condo unit were seized.
"We have classified the case under Section 4(1)(c) of the Betting Act 1953," he said.
The second and third raids, which were conducted at two condominium units in Relau at 2am Tuesday (July 9), saw the arrest of five Indonesian nationals.
Supt Anbalagan said the five Indonesians arrested comprised three men aged between 24 and 33 and two women aged between 28 and 30.
Supt Anbalagan said the syndicates' operations were based in Indonesia as they targeted Indonesians.
"We believe they have been operating from these premises for five months, running online gambling games such as domino, poker, ceme, capsa, ceme keliling, omaha and super10.
"A total of six computers were seized, along with eight mobile phones and 15 online banking devices.
"The case will be investigated under Section 4(1)(c) of the Betting Act 1953 and Section 6(3) of the Immigration Act 1959/63," he added.
Supt Anbalagan said the police noticed that the syndicates had changed their modus operandi by operating from luxury condominiums in order to avoid detection from authorities.
"The syndicates probably thought these locations were safe due to the controlled access into the condominium units," he added.
Supt Anbalagan urged anyone with information on similar cases to contact the police hotline at 04-538 2222.