SINGAPORE: The police are investigating 158 people for their suspected involvement in illegal horse betting activities and alleged non-compliance of COVID-19 safe distancing measures.
In a news release on Tuesday (Jun 8), the police said the 147 men and 11 women are aged between 36 and 83.
Between Apr 24 and Jun 6, the police conducted operations against illegal horse betting activities at multiple locations including Telok Blangah Crescent, Bukit Merah View, Serangoon Central, Bedok, Bukit Batok, Woodlands, Marsiling and Yishun.
Housing & Development Board (HDB) officers also supported the islandwide operation through enforcement against breaching of safe distancing measures.
During the operations, cash amounting to more than S$76,000, several mobile phones and documents believed to be betting records were seized, said the police.
According to preliminary investigations, the people under investigation purportedly consist of illegal bookmakers accepting illegal horse racing bets, runners assisting the bookmakers and gamblers who placed illegal horse racing bets with the illegal bookmakers.
Investigations are ongoing.
Anyone found guilty of betting with a bookmaker can be fined up to S$5,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.
Those found to be guilty of bookmaking can be fined from S$20,000 to S$200,000, and jailed for up to five years.
Anyone who is non-compliant with safe distancing measures can be fined between S$300 and S$1,000 depending on the seriousness of the breaches found.
For more serious breaches of safe distancing measures, offenders may also be liable for prosecution and be fined up to S$10,000, jailed for up to six months, or both.
The police said that they take a serious view against all forms of illegal betting activities, and will continue to take tough enforcement action and prosecute those involved in accordance with the law.
"Members of the public are advised to steer clear of all forms of illegal gambling activities and to take the prevailing safe distancing measures seriously," said the police.