Singapore police arrested 11 people (nine men and two women) on Sunday for allegedly offering unauthorized remote gambling services.
The Criminal Investigation Department launched simultaneous raids at Balestier, Hougang, Tiong Bahru, Tanjong Pagar, Newton and Woodlands. Officers seized SGD215,000 cash plus computers, mobile phones, betting records and bank transaction record booklets.
Preliminary investigations show that the suspects may have received SGD3 million illegal bets in the past weeks.
This is the first syndicate that will undergo investigation after the Remote Gambling Act was implemented in February, blocking unauthorized online gambling sites such as IBCBet, SBOBet and MaxBET.
The suspects, if convicted, could face up to five year of jail time, a fine from SGD$20,000 to SGD200, 000 or both.
“The Remote Gambling Act 2014 was enacted to tackle groups and individuals who profiteer from unlawful remote gambling to the detriment of the public at large. Police are determined to stamp out unlawful remote gambling and will continue to take tough enforcement actions against those who flout the law,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations and Intelligence) and concurrent Director of the Criminal Investigation Department Tan Chye Hee.
A Payment Blocking Order was issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS),which took effect April 17. The Order applies to banks licensed under the Banking Act; persons licensed under the Banking Act to carry on the business of issuing credit cards or charge cards in Singapore; merchant banks approved as a financial institution under section 28 of the Monetary Authority of Singapore Act; finance companies licensed under the Finance Companies Act; holders of a stored value facility under the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act; and operators of a payment system designated under the Payment Systems (Oversight) Act.
The MAS had issued an earlier Payment Blocking Order in February, which did not extend to merchant banks and finance companies.