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Eighteen people arrested in illegal betting raid in Singapore
- May 22, 2014 By Nemanja L. -
Singapore police have revealed that they have arrested 18 people in the latest raid on the illegal football betting operations some 20 days ahead of the start of the 2014 World Cup.
The suspects have taken illegal soccer bets for an estimated Sg$8 million, which roughly translates to around $6.4 million, in the space of just two weeks, the police announced on their official website.
The nationalities of the suspects were not disclosed, but it has been reported that 16 men and 2 women were detained following raids on Sunday and Monday. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) performed multiple raids in Whampoa, Woodlands, Telok Blangah, Bukit Panjang, Ang Mo Kio, Marsiling, Bedok and Sendosa.
A total of Sg$1.4 million in cash was seized in addition to computers, mobile phones, betting records and bank transaction details. The suspects could face jail time up to five years or fined up to Sg$200,000 if found guilty. On the other hand, persons found guilty of placing bets with illegal bookmakers could be jailed up to six months or fined Sg$5,000.
Criminal Investigation Department chief Kenny Tan has warned both illegal bookmakers and bettors not to engage in any illegal activity.
“Bookmakers and bettors who assume that they can hide behind the anonymity of the Internet to commit criminal offences should think twice,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Kenny Tan said.
“The police will find them and prosecute both bookmakers and bettors alike to the fullest extent of the law.”
Singapore is home to a number of illegal betting syndicates and government officials are constantly trying to combat illegal bettors and bookmakers, as their latest action would suggest. The Singapore Totalisator Board is in charge of the country’s two legal betting and gaming companies and it has seen revenues of almost $1 billion in the year to March 2013, which is an amazing figure for a country with a total population of 5.4 million.
International Centre for Sport Security have published a report just few days ago, warning that criminal groups have laundered more than $140 billion made through illegal sports betting, with 53 percent of the global illegal betting market based out of Asia.
While football and cricket are the most popular sports among bettors, tennis, basketball, badminton and motor racing are also being targeted by the illegal betting syndicates. It is believed that more than 80 percent of wagers are made illegally, from a total value that ranges between $275 billion and $685 billion.