First man sentenced under Organised Crime Act

Or Poh Soon gets two years' jail and $50,000 fine for working with an illegal gambling syndicate.
Or Poh Soon gets two years' jail and $50,000 fine for working with an illegal gambling syndicate.

The first person to plead guilty to offences under the new Organised Crime Act was sentenced yesterday to two years' jail and a fine of $50,000.

Singaporean Or Poh Soon, 55, will spend an additional two months and 10 weeks behind bars if he cannot pay the fine.

He had collected bets and sourced for punters for an illegal remote gambling syndicate which ran more than five 4-D and Toto websites.

The court heard that from June 1 to Nov 27, 2016, the estimated turnover of one of the sites was about $26.64 million.

In arguing for the newspaper vendor to receive at least two years' jail and a fine of $40,000, Deputy Public Prosecutor Teo Lu Jia urged District Judge Edgar Foo to consider that Or played an integral role in one of the largest organised crime syndicates uncovered here. "The court should send a strong deterrent message so that like-minded offenders would not find the risk of being caught and punished to be worth taking."

Or, who was unrepresented, pleaded for leniency, saying he has health issues. He had pleaded guilty on June 8 to one count each of illegally managing remote gambling activities, helping in public lotteries and being a member of a local organised criminal group.

The syndicate, led by three brothers, had three main clusters and Or worked for the leader of one of them, Lean Kay Cheong, 62. Lean's cluster had about 95 agents, DPP Teo said, adding that Lean accepted bets for 4-D and Toto based on the same draw dates and winning numbers as Singapore Pools' games.

Or started working for Lean in 2013. He was paid a commission of 8 per cent of the bets collected and would also get 5 per cent of the amount won by his punters. His commission was later raised to 10 per cent, earning him about $62,000 in commissions between 2013 and 2016. The cases involving the other alleged syndicate members are pending.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2018, with the headline 'First man sentenced under Organised Crime Act'. Subscribe