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Singapore

36 people arrested in islandwide operation targeting illegal gambling, unlicensed moneylending

36 people arrested in islandwide operation targeting illegal gambling, unlicensed moneylending

Gambling-related paraphernalia seized. (Photo: Singapore Police Force)

SINGAPORE: A total of 36 people aged between 26 and 63, including one woman, were arrested in an islandwide operation targeting illegal gambling and unlicensed moneylending. 

They are suspected of providing unlawful remote gambling services, operating and gaming in a common gaming house and operating an unlicensed moneylending syndicate, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Wednesday (Jun 23).  

Officers from the Criminal Investigation Department, Police Intelligence Department, and Special Operations Command participated in simultaneous raids at multiple locations islandwide on Tuesday, SPF said. 

These locations included Potong Pasir, Serangoon, Toa Payoh, Tampines, Bishan, Hougang, Pasir Ris, Punggol, Woodlands, Telok Blangah, Tanjong Pagar and Bukit Batok. 

Cash amounting to more than S$770,000, gambling-related documents and electronic devices, including computers, mobile phones and pre-paid cards were seized, police said. 

Gambling-related paraphernalia seized. (Photo: Singapore Police Force)

The police also froze the suspects' bank accounts. 

Ten of the suspects will be charged in court on Wednesday with remote gambling and illegal moneylending offences. 

Those found guilty of using remote gambling services could be fined up to S$5,000, jailed for up to six months, or both. 

The offence of facilitating the participation of others in remote gambling carries a jail term of up to five years, fine of S$20,000 to S$200,000, or both.

Anyone guilty of providing unlawful remote gambling services could be jailed for up to five years, fined S$20,000 to S$200,000, or both.

If convicted of gaming in a common gaming house, the suspects could be jailed for up to six months and fined up to S$5,000 .

The offence of using a place as a common gaming house carries a jail term of up to three years and a fine of S$5,000 to S$50,000.

Those convicted of acting as a bookmaker could be jailed for up to five years and fined S$20,000 to S$200,000.

First-time offenders found guilty of carrying on or assisting in unlicensed moneylending could be given a fine of S$30,000 to S$300,000, jailed up to four years and up to six strokes of the cane. 

"The police will continue to take tough enforcement action and clamp down on criminal activities, including remote gambling and loansharking," the police said. 

"Those found engaging in illicit activities will be dealt with sternly in accordance with the law." 

Source: CNA/vc(ta)

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