Police arrest 15 suspects in soccer betting syndicate

Police arrest 15 suspects in soccer betting syndicate

SINGAPORE - Police have arrested 15 suspects for their suspected involvement in illegal bookmaking activities.

Twelve men and three women, aged between 26 and 61, were arrested early this morning at 4am during island-wide operations by officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Police Intelligence Department (PID).

The operations were held at various locations in Singapore, including Tampines, Lorong Salleh, Bukit Batok, Hougang, Aljunied, Punggol, Pine Close, Bartley, Bedok and Anchorvale.

Cash amounting to $860,000, as well as an array of computers, handphones, laptops and documents such as betting records, were also seized during the raids.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects are believed to have received soccer bets amounting to an estimated $880,000 in the past three weeks alone.

Investigations against the suspects are ongoing.

Under the Betting Act, any person found guilty of betting with a bookmaker will be fined a maximum of $5,000 or imprisoned up to six months, or both.

Any person who is found guilty of bookmaking will be fined between $20,000 and $200,000, and will also be imprisoned for up to five years.

Head of the Specialised Crime Branch of CID, Superintendent of Police Lawrence Eng said: "This is the fourth in a series of operations which the Police had conducted as part of our continuous efforts to clamp down hard and fast on illegal soccer betting.

"From these operations, Police have arrested a total of 56 suspects and seized cash of about $2.8 million.

"Bookmakers who assume that they can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet to commit criminal offences would face the full extent of the law upon their arrest.

"We will also like to advise members of the public to steer clear of illegal betting websites".

klim@sph.com.sg

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