Lord of Malaysia gambling ring nabbed

PETALING JAYA - He was the kingpin of several gambling syndicates in the Klang Valley and may have raked in millions of ringgit from gamblers.

His activities were, however, crippled after he became the first person to be detained under the controversial Prevention of Crime Act (Amendment and Extension) Act 2013 (PCA).

A source told The Star that the suspect had close ties with the gambling underworld here.

Apparently, he was a repeat offender who had been under surveillance for months.

Selangor CPO Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Samah Mat said the man, in his 50s, was arrested in an operation on Oct 20, following a public tip-off and police surveillance.

"Investigations revealed that he had been operating his dens for about two years," said SDCP Abdul Samah.

"He is under remand until mid-December," he said.

SDCP Abdul Samah said Selangor police were identifying more suspects and that they would also be investigated under the PCA.

The Act, which generally covers drug trafficking, triad activities and organised crime, allows suspects to be detained without trial for up to two years under a supervision order.

That period can be extended by another two under a detention order issued by a Prevention of Crime Board.

A supervision order, meanwhile, allows for a registered person to be attached with an electronic monitoring device and imposes conditions such as restriction on Internet use or meeting other registered persons.

The amended Act came into effect on April 2 despite attempts by Opposition lawmakers to "block" it from being passed in Parliament.

Amendments to the Act, which is set to be used only as a last resort against hardcore criminals, came some two years after the controversial Internal Security Act (ISA), Emergency Ordinance and Restricted Resi­dence Act were abolished.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi assured that PCA was not the ISA.