Police cripple illegal lottery syndicate

Clean sweep: SDCP Mohd Mokhtar (second from right) together with other police officials looking at some of the items seized during several raids conducted by the police recently.

JOHOR BARU - Police have crippled an illegal lottery syndicate that was raking in RM2 million (S$768,000) in returns every month.

State police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said the police arrested a man and two women, aged between 40 and 50, who are believed to be syndicate members.

SDCP Mohd Mokhtar said based on information received, the police conducted a raid at a place in Kg Bunyi Hilir, Pontian, at around 5.35pm on April 23.

"Following the arrest of the three people, we also seized a host of items linked to the illegal gambling activity," he said.

SDCP Mohd Mokhtar added that the items were desktop computers, laptops, printers, scanners, fax machines and 170 pieces of papers printed with lottery numbers.

SDCP Mohd Mokhtar was speaking to reporters during a press conference at the state police headquarters here yesterday.

"The three will be remanded until April 27 to assist with investigations," he said, adding that the case would be investigated under Section 4A(a) of the Open Gaming Houses Act 1953.

Those found guilty could be fined a minimum RM20,000 and could also be jailed for not more than five years.

On an unrelated case, SDCP Mohd Mokhtar said the police prevented the smuggling of stolen items out of the country with the arrest of a foreigner here recently.

He said the 34-year-old man, whose origins were not disclosed, was caught at the Customs checkpoint at the Duty Free Zone in Stulang Laut here.

"We found that the man was carrying an array of stolen items including at least 13 different foreign currencies, 10 watches, 30 chains, 17 bangles, 18 earrings, 19 lockets, 18 rings and four mobile phones in his bag.

"We believe that the suspect may be linked to a snatch theft syndicate and was in the midst of smuggling out the stolen items," SDCP Mohd Mokhtar said.

He added that the items were from victims in Johor, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

"With the arrest of the man, we believe we have solved at least 15 robbery cases."