Couple who collected illegal 4-D bets to pay Government $1.1 million

Couple who collected illegal 4-D bets to pay Government $1.1 million
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The die is cast for a criminal couple running an illegal 4-D betting operation.

On Tuesday (Jan 15), Heng Ee Howe, 60, was ordered to pay the Government $1,093,246.92 while his 55-year-old wife, Tin Suh Chyong, will hand over $29,669.81.

Police said on Thursday that the amounts were "unexplained wealth... disproportionate to their known sources of income".

The money, accumulated between June 1, 2010, and June 3, 2015, is believed to be from illegal betting activities conducted by the couple.

A joint investigation by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Criminal Investigation Department had earlier revealed that Heng had collected illegal 4-D bets on behalf of someone else for about 15 years.

He would receive commissions from a percentage of the total amount of bets collected and the winnings of each punter.

Upon receiving the bets, Heng, assisted by Tin, would consolidate and fax them over to Malaysian runners.

Heng was jailed for three months and fined $360,000, while Tin was jailed for two weeks and fined $100,000, on March 2 last year, for assisting in carrying out a public lottery and managing remote gambling by others through receiving bets via instant messaging platforms.

Restraint orders on their bank accounts were applied and a charging order made on their condominium unit to prevent spending or selling them during the investigations.

The CAD then sought a confiscation order against the two Singaporeans to forfeit the illicit income believed to be from the illegal activities.

Anyone convicted of a serious offence under the Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Serious Crimes (Confiscation of Benefits) Act can have benefits derived from criminal conduct confiscated.

Those who assist in running a public lottery can be fined between $20,000 and $200,000, and jailed for up to five years.

Under the Remote Gambling Act, anyone convicted of providing unlawful remote gambling services for another can be fined between $20,000 and $200,000, and jailed for up to five years, or both.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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