JOHOR BARU, June 7 — Johor police crippled an online gambling syndicate operated exclusively by South Koreans that raked in a cumulative bet value of RM87 million during a weekend raid in Iskandar Puteri near here last weekend.
Johor police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the raids by operatives from the Johor police contingent headquarters and the Iskandar Puteri district police saw two premises in elite residential areas raided.
He said two raids were carried out on the two residential units in Iskandar Puteri which were used as online gambling centres.
“During the two raids, a total of 10 suspects were arrested involving nine South Korean nationals and a local man, aged between 29 and 66.
“Initial investigations revealed that the South Korean citizens also played a role as a guest relations officer who took care of the gambling centres’s operations that were wholly made up of his country’s citizens.
“The South Koreans work in two 12-hour shifts, within 24-hours, while the locals act as their hosts by managing their food and accommodation,” said Ayob Khan during a press conference at the Johor police contingent headquarters here today.
Also present were Johor Criminal Investigation Department chief Datuk Md Yusof Ahmad and Iskandar Puteri police chief Assistant Commissioner Dzulkhairi Mukhtar.
Ayob Khan explained the South Korean online gambling syndicate was believed to have made Malaysia its online gambling operations centre for the past two years.
He said all the syndicate’s financial transactions would be deposited into a central bank account in South Korea by offering eight online gambling platforms.
“The modus operandi used by the suspects was to enter Malaysia using social visit passes as tourists before renting homes in elite residences.
“The syndicate members will change the location of their rental homes every three to six months to prevent their illegal activities from being detected by the authorities,” Ayob Khan explained.
During the raids, police seized six sets of computers; four laptops, 13 mobile phones, eight ATM cards, 12 prepaid cards, a Toyota Hilux, four modems, four iPads, Malaysian currency worth RM36,168 and Korean currency worth 7,779,000 Won (RM28,886).
He said the nine South Korean suspects have been remanded for 14 days starting yesterday, while the sole local suspect was remanded for three days.
“A check of the local's past records also found that he had previous criminal records involving drug cases.
“All the suspects will be investigated under Section 4 (1)(G) of the Open Gambling House Act 1953, Section 15 (1)(C) of the Immigration Act 1953/1963 and Section 6 (1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/1963,” said Ayob Khan.