JOHOR BARU: A syndicate operating an illegal gambling call centre targeting Chinese gamblers has raked in more than RM8mil over the last two months.
Its activities came to an abrupt end when police raided two condominium units in Iskandar Puteri at noon last Saturday.
Among the 18 Chinese nationals arrested was a woman.
State police chief Comm Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the suspects were aged between 20 and 40.
Police seized five laptops, three computers, 42 mobile phones and two Wi-Fi modems.
“Initial investigations showed that this syndicate has been operating online gambling activities in the last two months by targeting gamblers from their own country, ” he said during a press conference at the state police headquarters here yesterday.
Comm Ayob said those arrested would be remanded for two weeks and police were investigating whether they had social passes or work permits to enter the country.
The case is being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 that carries a fine of between RM5,000 and RM50,000, and imprisonment of not more than three years, upon conviction.
Comm Ayob also said that police had completed investigations into the case where 18 enforcement personnel were arrested for allegedly aiding human smuggling syndicates since 2017.
He said the investigation papers had been submitted to the Attorney General’s Chambers.
“We are satisfied with how we have conducted our investigations and we have a base for further action. We are waiting for the next order from the Attorney General’s Chambers, ” he said.
To date, 23 enforcement officers have been arrested for involvement in human-trafficking activities.
In an operation between June 15 and 18, Johor police arrested 18 enforcement personnel believed to have been aiding more than one human smuggling syndicate.
Those arrested include five Armed Forces personnel and 13 policemen, with two from the marine police, two from Bukit Aman and nine from the Kota Tinggi police station.
One of the policemen is an Assistant Superintendent.