GEORGE TOWN: An 80-year-old asthmatic man was among 32 gamblers and caretakers who ran helter-skelter in the dark when police raided a "mini casino" at a secluded Chinese temple in Air Itam here.
They hid in nearby bushes upon seeing the police in the 10pm raid on Tuesday.
In their haste to escape, some of them suffered cuts on their hands and toes.
However, none of them, aged between 24 and 80, escaped as police had the area cordoned off during the operation codenamed "Ops Dadu."
The group, including one woman, was playing a Chinese dice game called Tai Sai (also known as Chinese Craps) that requires players to place bets on a huge gaming blackboard.
Police seized RM66,325 (S$28,398), betting chips, plastic chairs, fans, and books that recorded the day's earnings and walkie-talkies.
Light refreshments were also provided to patrons of the gambling den that police believe had been in operation for a few months.
It is learnt that the police team, led by ASP Fauzi Mohd Yusoff, had the gambling den under surveillance for five days before moving into action.
The gamblers were mostly local traders and retirees who stay nearby.
George Town OCPD Asst Comm Gan Kong Meng said the gamblers and caretakers have been remanded for three days to facilitate investigations.
He added that the masterminds were not around when the place was raided.
The case is being investigated under Section 7(1) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953.
- The Star/Asia News Network