Action against gambling ramped up

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 11 Aug 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman will be zeroing in on not just illegal gambling syndicates but also owners of premises who rent out their buildings for the illegal activity.

Bukit Aman CID director Comm Datuk Huzir Mohamed warned that stern action would be taken, including using the Prevention of Crime Act (Poca) and Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act (Amlatfa).

“We are seriously considering using these two provisions since illegal online gambling activities operated by syndicates have started again.

“Prior to this, our focus was on the syndicates, but now we will be taking action against all elements connected to illegal gambling, including owners of premises and those who abuse their business licences,” he said.

Bukit Aman CID had gone all out to combat illegal online gambling since early last year but it had returned nationwide, especially in Selangor, he added.

“We will cooperate much more closely with relevant agencies, including Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and local councils, to wipe out illegal gambling in the country.

“Using Poca and Amlatfa against owners who rent out their premises to gambling syndicates is a must to cut all elements connected to these heinous activities.

“We will also recommend to local councils to revoke the business licences of coffeeshop owners and shops selling SIM cards who are in cahoots with illegal gambling syndicates,” Comm Huzir said.

Agencies such as TNB will be tasked with cutting the electricity supply of premises used by syndicates, he said.

He disclosed that every OCPD would be instructed to identify and track down property owners who played a part in helping the syndicates in their respective districts.

“I am confident that we will be able to curb the illegal gambling network effectively in stages.

“Enforcement operations will be conducted in Selangor for the time being, as we discovered that illegal gambling has been active again in the state,” he noted.

Comm Huzir urged the people to inform the police of illegal gambling activities so that quick action could be taken.

Poca allows the detention of a suspect for a period of up to two years without trial.

However, the detention is monitored and reviewed by the Crime Prevention Board, to prevent any abuse of the law.

Those who commit an offence under Section 4(1) of Amlatfa could face imprisonment not exceeding 15 years and a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the proceeds of an unlawful activity or instrumentalities at the time the offence was committed, or RM5mil, whichever is higher, upon conviction.On Saturday, videos on the Hot Burger Malaysia Facebook page, which showed alleged illegal gambling and the selling of contraband cigarettes in Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh, had gone viral. As at 6pm on Sunday, an eight-minute-long video had garnered two million views while another which lasted 13 minutes had 4.5 million views.

The complainant also alleged that his life could be in danger as a result of the revelations.

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