Strong alliance with Singapore cops led to transnational gambling ring bust, says Bukit Aman CID director

JOHOR BARU: The strong collaboration between the Malaysian and Singaporean police has led to the crippling of a transnational gambling syndicate, says Comm Datuk Seri Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain.

The Bukit Aman Crime Investigation Department (CID) director said such cooperation was the way forward in combating cybercrimes as the nature of such crime is borderless.

“We need to work together closely and share information to fight cybercrimes.

“The arrest of Singaporeans and Malaysians involved in an online gambling syndicate recently was a manifestation of the good working relationship between the police from both countries,” he said in a joint press at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar customs, immigration and quarantine complex here on Tuesday (July 9).

Singapore’s acting deputy commissioner of police (investigation and intelligence), concurrent CID director, Zhang Weihan was also present.

In a joint operation by the Singapore Police Force and the Royal Malaysia Police from June 30 to July 1, a total of 41 men and two women aged between 34 and 82 were arrested for their suspected involvement in an organised criminal group responsible for unlawful remote betting operations.

Comm Mohd Shuhaily said from the total, six individuals were arrested in Johor Baru on July 1, where four were Singaporean men and two were local women.

He said the Singaporean men, aged 41 to 60, had prior criminal records in the island republic for drugs, illegal gambling, involvement in secret societies and rioting while the two Malaysian women, 29 and 34 years old, had no priors.

“We believe the local women were facilitators in the online gambling outfit as its main operation was in Singapore. They used Malaysia as their counting centre to collect the bets on activities such as 4D and horse racing.

“The suspects also used Singapore telecommunication service providers to elude the authorities, so they were not monitored by the local police and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission,” he added.

He also said all six individuals had been charged and fined under Section 6(1) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 on July 8.

“The four Singaporeans have also been handed over to the Singapore police today (July 9) for further investigation and action,” he added.

Meanwhile, Zhang thanked his Malaysian counterpart for their help in ensuring a successful operation.

Asked if there were other syndicate members still at large, he said he was unable to disclose such information.

“Our investigation is ongoing and if there is any information relevant to Malaysia, we will share and collectively progress (into it),” he said.

Zhang added that his force also issued prohibition of disposal orders for seven properties with an estimated value of more than S$10.7mil (RM37.3mil) and seized cash, jewellery, luxury watches and more than 40 bank accounts with a total estimated value of nearly S$4mil (RM13.9mil).

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