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22 investigated for illegal gambling, horse betting activities and flouting COVID-19 rules

22 investigated for illegal gambling, horse betting activities and flouting COVID-19 rules

Scene photo from shophouse unit along River Valley Road. (Photo: SPF)

SINGAPORE: Twenty-two people are being investigated over their suspected involvement in illegal gambling, horse betting activities and for allegedly flouting COVID-19 regulations.

The 21 men and one woman are aged between 20 and 74, the police said in a news release on Friday (Oct 29). They were all nabbed during three recent raids in Woodlands, Marsiling and River Valley. 

Woodlands Police Division officers conducted two enforcement operations on Oct 20 and Oct 27 in Woodlands and Marsiling respectively.

A 67-year-old man was arrested during the enforcement operation at the void deck of a residential block along Woodlands Street 82. The man was allegedly found to have acted as a bookmaker to three other men, aged between 59 and 69. 

Police also arrested 74-year-old man during a subsequent operation at the void deck of a residential block along Marsiling Road. He was found to have also allegedly acted as a bookmaker to three other men aged between 54 and 73. 

The police seized more than S$750, three mobile phones and betting paraphernalia during the two operations. All eight men are assisting with investigations.

Cash, two mobile phones and betting paraphernalia seized during the operation along Woodlands Street 82. (Photo: SPF)
Cash and a mobile phone seized during the operation along Marsiling Road. (Photo: SPF)

Officers from Tanglin Police Division also raided a shophouse unit along River Valley Road on Oct 26 on suspicion of gambling activities. 

A 25-year-old woman was purportedly found operating a common gaming house within the unit, while 13 men were allegedly found gaming. 

Gambling-related paraphernalia was also seized for investigations. 

All 14 people were arrested for illegal gambling offences. They are also being investigated for non-compliance with COVID-19 safe distancing measures. 

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

Those found guilty of placing bets with a bookmaker face a fine of up to S$5,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.

Those found guilty of managing a place to be used as a common gaming house face a fine of between S$5,000 and S$50,000, as well as a jail term of up to three years. 

Individuals who do not comply with safe distancing measures can be jailed for up to six months, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

The police said they will continue to take tough enforcement actions against illegal gambling and horse betting activities. Members of the public also are advised to take the prevailing safe distancing measures seriously. 

"Those found engaging in illicit activities or found to be in breach of safe distancing measures, will be dealt with in accordance with the law."

Source: CNA/ng(zl)

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