SINGAPORE - Eleven alleged members of a multi-million dollar online gambling syndicate were taken by police to court on Tuesday (Nov 29).
The nine men and two women were charged with offences under the Remote Gambling Act or Common Gaming Houses Act.
They are: Ow Choon Bok, 40; See Chye Huat, 49; Seet Seo Boon, 52; Lim Beng Tiong, 52; Lean Kay Cheong, 60; Seet Seow Huat, 61; Seah Ee Lam, 66; Seet Siau Khuang, 67; Seet Sian Thian, 68; Tok Poh Ling, 47; and See Mui Khim, 52.
The 11 are accused of offences such as receiving and placing bets, handing out prize money, and depositing payments for bets.
They will be remanded for one week at Central Police Division to assist in investigations.
Their cases will be mentioned again on Dec 6.
In a statement on Monday (Nov 28), police said more than 30 suspects involved in illegal remote gambling services were arrested on Sunday, following one of the largest police operations against a criminal syndicate.
The gambling syndicate the suspects belonged to had 36 properties with an estimated value of about $39 million and $6.5 million in bank accounts, police said.
The 24 men and nine women, aged between 24 and 69, were arrested after officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Police Intelligence Department conducted simultaneous raids islandwide.
The raids were carried out at more than 30 locations, from Choa Chu Kang to Tampines. About $1.3 million in cash and an array of computers, mobile phones, fax machines and documents, such as betting records, were seized during the operation.
The police have also initiated the freezing of the suspects' bank accounts and properties.
The syndicate is believed to have been operating several illegal online betting websites for lottery and horse racing.
The group had networks of agents and punters betting through the syndicate's websites, police said.
It also had members who facilitated its activities through performing network support, collecting monies or tallying accounts for the syndicate.
The suspects are believed to have received bets amounting to more than $2 million in the past month.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations and Intelligence) and director of the CID Tan Chye Hee said it was the police's first major operation against an organised criminal group since the Organised Crime Act was enacted. The Act was passed in Parliament last year and took effect in June.
"Organised criminal groups are involved in serious criminal activities, such as unlawful remote gambling, and can pose a serious threat to Singapore's safety and security," he said.
"We will spare no effort to disrupt and dismantle these organised criminal groups and deprive them of their ill-gotten gains."
Anyone found guilty of being a member of a locally linked organised criminal group can be fined up to $100,000, jailed up to five years or both.
If found guilty of operating a Singapore-based remote gambling service, he or she can be fined between $20,000 and $500,000, jailed up to five years, or both.