Malaysia police vow biggest ever online gambling crackdown

malaysia-online-gambling-crackdownMalaysian authorities are launching yet another national crackdown on illegal online gambling, and this time they swear it will actually produce the desired results.

On Tuesday, Deputy Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim (pictured) emerged from a strategic meeting with his state deputies to announce the formation of an “illegal gambling action committee to plan, analyze, synergize and execute the actions to be taken to completely wipe out illegal gambling once and for all.”

While the crackdown will start with raids on known illegal gambling dens, Noor Rashid said eradicating online gambling was a more “complicated task,” as “they mostly operate through servers located overseas and push their software through multiple collapsible local servers.”

The police plan to coordinate their anti-online efforts with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and internet service providers. The illegal gambling committee also plans to recommend amendments to Malaysia’s gambling laws, which Noor Rashid said contain loopholes that “prevent us from eradicating illegal gambling and allowing such operations to resurface again and persist with their activities.”

The crackdown, which will involve national, state, district and station police forces, would be the largest ever mounted against illegal gambling in Malaysia, according to Noor Rashid. But the country tends to announce these campaigns a couple times per year without so far showing any significant reduction in illegal activity.

Malaysia’s efforts have been complicated by allegations of widespread collusion between police and gambling operators. On Wednesday, police in Johor Baru announced they would conduct an internal investigation after a local activist claimed illegal gambling operators considered themselves “untouchable” due to their being “protected” by police for years.

This time around, Noor Rashid warned that the cops won’t stop at arresting illegal gambling operators, but will also target those who assist, protect and aid illegal operations, and “the sternest of action will be taken to ensure that such operations do not resurface after we have closed them down.”