Gaming syndicates lose out - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Gaming syndicates are promoting illegal electronic gambling in legitimate club, association and Chinese clan premises.

But their attempts to establish a chain of outlets in the Klang Valley has come unstuck with police putting a stop to their plans.

Since May, 17 police raids in the Klang Valley led to the seizure of more than 200 illegal electronic gaming machines.

Twenty-two people, including Myanmar and Thai nationals, have been arrested.

The seizures confirmed police suspicion that the syndicates have regrouped to promote illegal gambling after a year-long hiatus.

The police are concerned that the syndicates are operating from premises such as sports associations, social clubs and Chinese clan buildings.

"We will seek the co-operation of the local council authorities to ascertain how these illegal gaming machines managed to make their way into legal premises," Federal Criminal Investigations Department director Datuk Fauzi Saari (picture) said.

In May, five raids led to the seizure of 17 machines in Cheras, Salak South and Pudu.

More than 150 machines were seized last month while 45 were seized during the first two weeks of this month.

The raids were carried out in Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya and Port Klang.

Some of these premises were raided more than twice.

Days after a raid was carried out, new machines are put in place. However, the operators limit the number of machines in order not to attract attention.

Each machine can produce daily returns of about RM1,000.

Three years ago, police had cracked down on illegal gaming operators

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