Several media outlets reported that local police have teamed up with the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) to disconnect the power supply in areas in Kota Kinabalu suspected of housing illegal online gambling establishments.
So far, authorities have raided four premises in the areas of Inanam, Sadong Jaya and Sulaman Central over the past two weeks, including a family entertainment center that offered unauthorized gambling activities, The Star reported. In Sulaman Central, seven people between 32 and 69 years old were arrested, police officials said.
In addition, police seized a total of 28 tablets and four mobile phones in the latest series of raids.
City police chief Asst Comm M. Chandra said they have already successfully cracked down on illegal gambling and cyber activities in the city, but the activities have once again resurfaced, and this time with a new modus operandi.
“After more than two years since this illegal activity was crippled, somehow it surfaced once again with a new MO and tighter security place din the premises to avoid from being detected by police,” Chandra said, according to The Borneo Post.
The police official noted that instead of desktops, operators are now using tablets that are easier to remove in the event of a raid.
The arrested people were taken to police custody for investigation under Section 4B of the Common Gaming House Act 1953, Chandra said.
Malaysia is a deeply religious country that limits its citizens’ ability to wager. Local Muslims aren’t allowed in the country’s sole licensed brick-and mortar casino—Genting Highlands—and religious authorities frown on the use of the three licensed number forecasting operators.
Recently, the Malaysian government announced that it will seek to revamp the country’s gambling laws, which were introduced long before the advent of the Internet. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said he’s open to revising the existing legislation and introduce new acts to aid its long-running war against illegal gambling.
According to the deputy prime minister, a huge part of the legislative upgrades would be to provide “heavier penalties, both preventative and punitive.”