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Online Gambling Crackdown in Asia

By: Joan Peppin, Thursday September 29th 2011
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There have been persistent reports from the Asian countries of Malaysia and the Philippines of crackdown on illegal online gambling operations.

The Star Online of Malaysia reported on the statement made by chief assistant commissioner of CID, Zakaria Ahmad. Ahmad stated that 820 people have been arrested and 4,036 computers have been seized in the past nine months, which is a substantial increase compared to 724 people and 2,388 computers over the whole of 2010. Action was taken against the offenders under the Common Gaming House Act 1953 and the Entertainment and Places of Entertainment Enactment 1997. About half the people arrested were repeat offenders. 50 premises used in illegal online gambling operations have been earmarked for temporarily cutting off the power supply pending investigations. Cyber cafes are under the scanner to ensure that they are not being used for online gambling.

Further to the above report the Malaysian police chief Ayub Yaakob told the New Straits Times that they plan to prosecute the players along with the owners and operators of the illegal online gambling activities. He said, So far, we have only charged the organizers of the gambling activities and owners of premises, like cyber cafes, that were being used as gambling dens. There are provisions in the law to charge those who are caught gambling on machines. We will make these people face the law as well."

The Philippines police have also been busy over the weekend conducting raids against illegal online gambling operations. A spokesman for the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said that the raids led to 20 arrests involving a Korean Jopok organized crime cell operating illegal online blackjack and baccarat casinos in Pasig City. In the raid the police confiscated six blackjack and baccarat tables, six cartons of playing cards, CCTV video streaming and audio equipment and eighteen state-of-the-art computers. It is apparent that the illegal operations constituted a live dealer casino where the online players at remote locations could see the blackjack and baccarat games being conducted by human dealers on their computer screens.

CIDG Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. claimed during a news conference that six organized crime soldiers of the Dragon Assassins clan of the Korean Jopok and 14 Philippine associates were caught red handed in the raids. The leader of the arrested Koreans was identified as the 41 year old Lee Dewook. All those who had been arrested have refused to communicate with the police. The arrested persons will be charged with violations of local anti-illegal gambling laws.

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