Illegal operations outpacing police crackdown

Authorities in Sarawak are struggling to keep a lid on illegal gambling, despite conducting raids every week, says State Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Dev Kumar to New Straits Times.

“Although there is a drop in the number of cyber gambling premises, which operate with laptops and computers, the illegal activities do not stop there.”

Dev said the advent of digital and online technology has made it easy for people to get access to illegal gaming.

“Instead of going to premises as walk-in customers, gamblers can now gamble everywhere as operators are offering reload and online services…. All they need to do is reload their phones and they can gamble anywhere, even at home,” said Dev.

In turn, the police have intensified efforts by detaining and remanding illegal operators. Dev promised to boost efforts until illegal gambling in the state has been eradicated.

In a statewide crackdown last week, police conducted a total of 78 raids in 18 districts – arresting 96 people.

Consumer group claims police corruption

On the other hand, an activist with the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) in Johor has accused police officers in the state of supporting illegal gambling.

“There is no need to lie about it, the people know many gambling dens in Malaysia are under police protection,” said PPIM Muslim Supervisory Unit chief Abdul Halim Ikhsan, speaking to Free Malaysia Today.

Halim cited the existence of a gambling den in front of the Johor Bahru police station to back up his claim.

“In Kluang (Johor), everyone knows how big and how many illegal gambling dens there are,” he said.