Illegal gambling operation busted in Malaysian state of Penang; nine arrested

Illegal gambling operation busted in Malaysian state of Penang; nine arrested

A recent gambling raid by police in the northwestern Malaysian state of Penang led to the apprehension of nine suspects and seizure of cash, chips, mobile phones, modems and much more. According to Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), a team of police officers raided a house located in Kampung Tanah Liat, Penang, on Thursday this week as part of national and local authorities’ continuing crackdown on illegal gambling. The house was rented by the operators of the illegal activity.

During the raid, police seized RM19, 641 (US$4,726), chips, dice, mobile phones, modems, and gambling note papers. Nine people, including five men and four women, were taken into custody. In age, the suspects ranged between 42 and 56.

A 48-year-old man, who is said to be the mastermind of the illegal gambling operation, is also behind the bars, facing multiple charges related to illegal gambling and public health rules.

The Seberang Perai Tengah District Police Department said in a state, “The syndicate has been renting the house for the past three months and a 48-year-old man who was arrested is the mastermind in providing all gambling items to conduct online ‘Si Goh Lak’ type gambling.”

Police didn’t reveal the identity of the mastermind or other suspects, but announced that the illegal operation was using the WeChat mobile payment app to take bets, and thousands of ringgits (the local currency) were being raised daily in revenue.

Earlier in April, police raided another illegal online gambling operation in Penang. During that raid on a residence in Jalan Casa Residensi, four male suspects were taken into custody. The illegal operation that was being operated out of an expensive condominium was generating thousands of ringgits in profits daily. The operation was repeatedly relocated to avoid detection by the law enforcement, though it remained available online 24 hours daily. During the raid, police seized three computers, a modem, a router, and various documents. The suspects were slapped with multiple charges related to illegal gambling.

In 2019, a massive illicit online gaming operation near Kuala Lumpur was busted by Malaysian police. That operation used to offer more than 200 games, and that raid led to the arrest of 100 Chinese nationals, including 83 men and 17 women. They faced illegal gambling as well as immigration charges.

All those raised were conducted under an initiative to wipe out illegal gambling, announced in 2017.