Police nab gamblers in Kuching red zone areas


MIRI: Covid-19 has the “power” to stop many things, but gambling is not one of them.

Police arrested 26 people for playing poker, mahjong and operating online gambling – even in red zone areas in Kuching.

Sarawak Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Asst Comm Denis Leong said a late night raid on Monday at a condominium at Jalan Sungai Utama Padawan found 12 people playing poker and mahjong.

“We seized gambling chips and other items used by these gamblers who used cashless methods.

“Their online transactions used bank accounts, ” said SAC Leong, adding that the condominium was protected by a tight security system.

In a separate raid on Oct 28 in another luxury housing estate in Kuching city, police found 14 men and women operating an online gambling call centre.

SAC Leong said those arrested were locals and foreigners who had turned the three-storey house into a gaming operation centre.

“They were raking in revenue of about RM300,000 per month.

“An initial probe showed they had been operating for the past one year, ” he said, adding that numerous items like computers and cellphones were seized.

All those arrested will be charged with illegal gambling, he added.

In Kota Kinabalu, police shut down a pub opened for “regular customers” after the operator was caught breaching the conditional movement control order.

Kota Kinabalu City police chief Asst Comm Habibi Majinji said the “quiet” operation was busted after a police team raided the outlet at Lintas Square in Luyang here at around 9.35pm on Wednesday.

He said four people – three men and a woman – including the operator, were issued compounds for opening the pub.

“The operator kept the doors shut on the ground floor and used the first floor to serve alcohol to avoid detection when police raided the place under Ops Covid-19, ” ACP Habibi said yesterday.

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