33 men and three women between the ages of 22 and 77 have been arrested as part of a suspected organised crime group for providing illegal remote 4D, Toto, horse-betting and soccer gambling services, according to the police in a press release.
They had been caught at multiple locations across Singapore, along with cash amounting to over S$400,000, watches, mobile phones, computers and betting records, in an operation carried out on Sep. 7 by the Criminal Investigation Department, Police Intelligence Department and Special Operations Command.
The police have since frozen their bank accounts and properties to prevent the dissipation of suspected criminal earnings.
15 charged in court
15 of the suspects were subsequently charged in court on Sep. 8 for providing an unlawful remote gambling service under Section 9(1)(a) of the Remote Gambling Act 2014.
Should they be found guilty, they are either liable to a fine between S$20,000 and S$200,000, or on an imprisonment term of up to five years or both.
As for being part of an organised crime group, a person who is convicted of such a charge is subjected to a fine of up to S$100,000, or an imprisonment term of up to five years, or both.
In emphasising that the police had zero tolerance for activities carried out by such groups, the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department Florence Chua stated:
“The police have zero tolerance for OCGs as they pose a serious threat to Singapore’s safety and security. This operation was conducted as part of the Police’s ongoing efforts to disrupt and dismantle OCGs operating in Singapore in blatant disregard for the law. The Police will spare no effort in our enforcement actions against such groups to deprive them of their ill-gotten gains and to keep Singapore safe and secure.”
Investigations against the remaining suspects are ongoing.
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Top image collage from the police and Dave ho via Flickr