Singapore, Vietnam police take down online gambling rings

    Singapore authorities have taken down a major online gambling ring, with 33 individuals arrested for their involvement in an organized criminal group (OCG) that operates illegal online betting sites, local media reports.

    According to a new release from the  Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Monday, police said that 24 men and nine women were arrested in simultaneous raids across Singapore.

    Cash amounting to approximately S$1.3 million, an array of devices and other documents were seized and around S$45.5m worth of assets frozen, said police.

    Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Police Intelligence Department (PID) conducted simultaneous raids at more than thirty locations islandwide, including Bedok, Bishan, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Serangoon, Tampines and Yishun, resulting in the arrests.

    The criminal group is believed to be involved in several illegal online betting sites providing lottery and horse betting, with bets in the last month amounting to an estimated S$2 million, said police.

    Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations & Intelligence) concurrent Director of the Criminal Investigation Department Tan Chye Hee said, “This is the first major operation by the Singapore Police Force against an OCG since the enactment of the Organised Crime Act. Police are resolute in our enforcement and investigation efforts against OCGs.  We will spare no efforts to disrupt and dismantle these organised criminal groups and deprive them of their ill-gotten gains.”

    Under the Remote Gambling Act, those who provide a Singapore-based remote gambling service could be liable for a fine of between S$20,000 and S$500,000 and be jailed for a maximum of seven years.

    In Vietnam, Ministry of Public Security’s Police Investigation Department of Social Security Crime announced on the weekend it had busted an online gambling ring in Ho Chi Minh and arrested more than 130 people suspected of involvement. Some 80 motorbikes and several documents were also seized, according to local media.

    The latest arrests follow a massive crackdown in Mainland China which saw 94 members of a $72 billion gambling ring arrested.

    According to Xinhua, it is alleged that the gambling ring helped bring more than 400 gamblers from China across to Laos and Myanmar to gamble more than CNY 500 billion ($72.3 billion) in wagers.