Singapore police have arrested 29 people and confiscated S$730,000 (US$524,137) in cash after illegal gambling-related raids. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Police in Singapore have stopped a major illegal gambling operation, confiscating hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.
Participation in the provision of illegal online gambling services
Authorities announced, on Tuesday, that they had arrested 24 men and five women as a result of a number of raids on Sunday. The ages of those arrested ranged from 32 to 75 years. They were detained for their alleged involvement in providing illegal online gambling services.
During the raids, police discovered approximately 730,000 Singapore dollars (US$524,137) in cash, as well as various luxury watches and electronic devices. They also found documents related to the gambling operation. Authorities have now frozen the suspects’ bank accounts.
Sunday wide operation, mentioned before Straits Times, included simultaneous raids at several locations, such as Tampines, Tepan Gardens, Jurong West, Hojang, Redhill and Bukit Batok. Two of the offenders appear in court on Tuesday to face charges related to the Remote Gambling Act of 2014.
Currently, online gambling is illegal in Singapore. On-land casinos are already in the country, but locals have to pay a tax to enter.
Singapore imposes heavy penalties on people who facilitate the participation of others in online gambling. They could face a fine of up to 200,000 Singapore dollars ($143,599), as well as a prison sentence of up to five years.
The authorities are seeking a court order to keep the suspects in pretrial detention while investigations continue.
Fighting illegal gambling
The authorities in Singapore continued to crack down on illegal gambling across the country this year. To this end, officials have plans to change the regulations of the gambling sector and create some new regulatory bodies to monitor the industry.
One of the most prevalent sectors of illegal gambling in Singapore is horse racing betting. This sport has proven to be very popular across the country for many years, but only a few operators are able to offer sports betting legally.
In February, Singapore police revealed that they had investigated nearly 90 people for their role in illegal horse racing betting, after several raids. This included regulators and bookies.