Penang Cops Cripple Online Gambling Syndicate Raking in RM1 Million Monthly

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Police crippled an online gambling syndicate with the arrests of nine men, including its mastermind, recently.

It is learnt that the syndicate had converted three luxury condominiums into call centres and was raking in almost RM1 million every month.

State police chief Datuk Sahabudin Abd Manan said police carried out intelligence and surveillance operations on the group since July, before storming the three luxury condominiums and a shophouse in a series of raids between July 25 and July 30 in and around Bukit Mertajam, on mainland Penang.

“In the series of raids, police detained eight men, aged between 19 and 21, as well as the 29-year-old mastermind

“Initial investigations found that they were hiding behind the luxury condominiums to carry out the online gambling activity to evade detection,” he said here today.

Sahabudin said an investigation into the premises found that they were rented by the syndicate and turned into call centres for online gambling bet placement.

“Our investigations also revealed that the syndicate focused on customers mainly from the northern states of Penang, Perak and Kedah by using a message application.

Nur Izzati Mohamad/NST

“The syndicate members would send random messages in huge volumes and interested customers would contact the syndicate to place their bets,” he added.

Sahabudin said further probes into the three condos and shophouse showed that they were operating around-the-clock, with workers controlling the main computers and smartphones for online gambling transactions, including monetary transactions.

He added that police also uncovered 16 bank accounts from various banks used by the syndicate for monetary transactions for online gambling.

“We have since frozen all the accounts for further probes,” he added.

He added that punters who wanted to place bets would deposit a certain amount of money into the bank accounts provided by the syndicate. They would then be provided with a password and more information on online gambling.

During the series of raids, Sahabudin said police also seized an assortment of equipment used for online gambling, such as five laptops, eight computer monitors, six CPUs, 16 smartphones, 17 routers and numerous SIM cards.

“The syndicate is believed to have raked in a profit of between RM30,000 and RM50,000 daily.

“They have been operating for the past one year,” he added.

Police are now on the hunt for three more individuals to assist in the investigation.

They are Tan Khoon Ping, 27, whose last known address is No 8, Lorong Lobak 11, Taman Serumpun, Bukit Mertajam; Tan Kok Keong, 34, whose last known address is No.32 Taman Bukit, Bukit Mertajam; and Lea Shea Li, 27, whose last known address is No 11, Lorong Bunga Raya 8, Jalan Raja Uda in Butterworth. – NST