PADAWAN: Eighty-five premises allegedly used for illegal gambling in the district had their power supply cut off.
Covering the period between January and last Friday (Sept 25), these premises are suspected to be used as centres for operating online gambling and sale of illegal lottery.
Acting district police chief DSP Lim Jaw Shyong in a statement told that out of the figure, 30 of them had their electricity supply cut off in September alone.
Up till Friday, teams from the Padawan district police headquarters (IPD) have conducted 322 successful raids. At the same time, they also arrested 424 individuals comprising keepers of the premises, punters and players.
“From the figure, 113 of them have been charged in court for various offences under ‘Ops Dadu’.
“Stern warnings are given to relevant operators and the public on the punishments under the Common Gaming House Act 1953,” he said in a statement.
Lim explained that punishments under Section 4A(a) for unlicensed public lottery organiser, the offender could be fined no less than RM20,000 and no more than RM200,000 and can be imprisoned for not more than five years.
Whereas under Section 4(1)c for online gambling organiser, the offender can be fined no less than RM5,000 and no more than RM50,000 and can be imprisoned for not more than three years. They can also be fined not less than RM5,000 and not more than RM50,000 for each gambling appliance seized.
On Friday, the district’s Crime Investigation Division (CID) along with Sarawak Energy Berhad (Sesco) cut off the power supply to 15 premises in Mile 7, Mile 10, MJC Batu Kawa and Matang under Section 21A (1) of the Common Gaming House Act 1953.
“These premises, when viewed from outside, are carrying out legitimate business and are registered, but there is a lot going on behind the doors whereby they are involved in unlicensed public lottery activities or online gambling which are legally wrong.
“Therefore, the police’s first collaboration with the Inland Revenue Board (IRB) was made at the early stage by not renewing the licence on eight identified premises.
“The figure will increase in future and even applications to revoke valid business licences registered on all these premises will be made from time to time,” he stated.
Lim told that this was in line with the instructions of the top leadership to eradicate gambling activities.
Customers are reminded to get rid of such “habit” which will cause more harm compared to those who profit from unlicensed gambling.