Continued Crackdown on Illegal Gambling in Singapore Results in New Arrests

Posted on: November 7, 2023, 07:23h. 

Last updated on: November 7, 2023, 07:23h.

Singapore police are on a mission that seems to be paying off with big dividends. In a targeted crackdown on illegal betting activities, the Singapore Police Force carried out a series of raids across the country on Sunday and Monday, resulting in the arrest of 32 individuals and the seizure of SGD1 million (US$737,400) in cash and assets.

Singapore Police Force officers on patrol against a background of Marina Bay Sands
Singapore Police Force officers on patrol against a background of Marina Bay Sands. The country continues uncovering illegal gambling operations and arresting scores of individuals. (Image: Singapore Police Force via Facebook)

The operations were a continuation of law enforcement’s efforts to curb illicit gambling, with a focus on disrupting both the organizers and participants. In an official statement, the Singapore Police Force explained that the raids were conducted at a minimum of nine locations, unveiling an extensive network involved in illegal betting.

The arrested individuals are now facing charges related to their alleged roles in facilitating and participating in illicit gambling activities. The seized assets included both cash and various forms of valuables believed to be proceeds from the illegal operations. Additionally, electronic devices used in conducting the illicit activities, such as computers and mobile phones, were confiscated as part of the investigation.

One Bust After Another

These recent raids came on the heels of a broader initiative launched by the police three weeks ago, targeting 21 locations across Singapore. The earlier operations focused on dismantling a sizable horse race betting ring. In that sweep, law enforcement identified 126 individuals suspected of involvement in the illicit activities and seized SGD69,000 (US$58,880) in connection to the operation.

Among those under investigation from the earlier raids, an unspecified number were found to be managing the operations. Many of them served as bookmakers or runners for the illegal betting ring, although the authorities also identified a large number of bettors.

These raids followed the arrest of 29 people for illegal gambling this past July. In that case, two people were running an illegal casino, while the remaining 23 were all gamblers who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

They also followed police raids on illegal gambling activity in Geylang in October. In that police action, the authorities arrested 50 people over the course of a week.

The comprehensive nature of these efforts indicates a concerted push by authorities to dismantle the immediate operations. They are also determined to attack the infrastructure supporting illegal gambling networks.

Police Aren’t Letting Up

The Singapore Police Force remains committed to addressing the issue of illegal gambling and its associated criminal activities. The recent series of raids underscores the challenges such underground operations pose and the need for ongoing vigilance.

As the investigations progress, the arrested individuals will face legal proceedings, and the seized assets will likely be subject to forfeiture. The police are encouraging the public to report any suspicious activities related to illegal gambling.

As the police efforts continue and the number of arrests mounts, it’s likely that the judicial system won’t show a lot of leniency. The sentence for offering an illegal gambling or betting operation is up to five years in prison and a fine of up to SGD200,000 (US$147,540). Those using the services can be put in jail for up to six months and fined up to SGD10,000 (US$7,377).

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