Cops bust online gambling syndicate making RM1m monthly

Cops bust online gambling syndicate making RM1m monthly

GEORGE TOWN: Police have smashed an online gambling syndicate, which was raking in profits of up to RM1 million a month, with the arrest of nine men in Bukit Mertajam and Seberang Prai Tengah recently.

Penang police chief Datuk Sahabudin Abd Manan said the arrests were made in raids on three luxury condominiums and a shophouse between July 25 and 30.

“In the series of raids, police arrested eight men aged 19 to 21 and a 29-year-old man who is the mastermind of the syndicate. Preliminary investigations found that they were using luxury condominiums to conduct online gambling activities in an attempt to deceive the authorities.

“The rented premises were used as call centres for online gambling,“ he said at a press conference here yesterday.

He said police are looking for three more individuals, namely Tan Khoon Ping, 27, whose last known address is 8, Lorong Lobak 11, Taman Serumpun, Bukit Mertajam; Tan Kok Keong, 34, of 32, Taman Bukit, Bukit Mertajam; and a woman Lea Shea Li, 27, of 11, Lorong Bunga Raya 8, Jalan Raja Uda in Butterworth to help in investigations.

Sahabudin said the three condominiums and shophouse were operating round the clock, with employees using computers and smartphones to conduct the gambling activities.

“The syndicate targeted customers in the north, namely Penang, Perak and Kedah, by using various messaging applications. They would send random messages in large numbers and interested customers would contact the syndicate to gamble.

“Customers who want to gamble online would have to deposit a certain amount of money in an account given by the syndicate before they were given a password or further information for them to play,“ he said.

He said police had frozen 16 bank accounts used by the syndicate to conduct its operations.

During the raids, police seized various equipment used for the gambling activities, including five laptops, eight computer monitors, six central processing units, 16 smartphones, 17 routers and various telephone SIM cards.

According to him, the syndicate is believed to be making profits of RM30,000 to RM50,000 a day and has been operating for a year. — Bernama