17 people being probed for suspected illegal gambling, breaching Covid-19 rules

Police said gambling-related items like mahjong tiles were seized.
Police said gambling-related items like mahjong tiles were seized.PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - Police are investigating 11 men and six women, aged between 17 and 70, for suspected illegal gambling and breaching safe distancing rules.

They were caught after the police received a report on Sunday night (May 16) at about 12.50am about a large gathering of people in a residential unit in Boon Lay Place.

The police said on Monday that they found 17 people gathered in the unit when they arrived on the scene. All were engaged in gambling-related activities.

People are allowed to gather in groups of only two from now until June 13 as part of tougher restrictions to curb a spike in Covid-19 infections.

One of those in the unit, a 62-year-old man, is being investigated on suspicion of operating a common gambling house.

Anyone convicted of managing a common gaming house can be fined between $5,000 and $50,000, and jailed up to three years.

The other 16 people are being investigated for allegedly gaming in a common gaming house, an offence which can lead to a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison term of up to six months, or both.

Police said gambling-related items were seized on Sunday and they included mahjong tiles.

All 17 people are also under investigation for breaching safe distancing measures, which results in a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to six months, or both.

The police have reiterated that they take a serious view of all forms of illegal gambling activities and that offenders will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

"Members of the public are also advised to take the prevailing safe distancing measures seriously," they added.