PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department has crippled an illegal gambling syndicate with the arrests of 12 men and three women.
Immigration director-general Datuk Ruslin Jusoh said the first raid was conducted at a snooker centre in Selangor at around 10pm on Tuesday (March 28).
"There was a hidden room at the premises which housed a gambling den.
"Our investigations revealed the syndicate only allowed customers to enter the premise with a special password," he told reporters at its intelligence and operations division office here on Thursday.
He said they detained four foreign men and two foreign women there who were operating the gambling machines.
"We also detained a 40-year-old Malaysian man who is believed to be the premises' caretaker and supervisor.
"Following the first raid, we raided three other locations around Kuala Lumpur where we detained the mastermind, a 40-year-old Bangladeshi man, along with seven other foreign men and a foreign woman aged between 25 and 40," he said, adding that they also seized 37 passports, RM114,450 cash, and 46 computers.
He said based on their investigation, the syndicate could rake in at least RM1.3mil a year.
"We believe the syndicate has been active for several years. Checks revealed all the foreigners detained had overstayed," he said adding that the Bangladeshi mastermind was married to a local woman and operated a cleaning company.
He said based on their observation, the gambling dens were mostly frequented by foreign workers.