KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — The police arrested 27 social media influencers yesterday for allegedly promoting online gambling on their social media platforms.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain said 23 women and four men, 21 to 35, were arrested in the capital city, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Perlis, Kedah and Penang following two months of intelligence gathering with the cooperation of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

“Preliminary investigations found that the influencers have been actively promoting online gambling to their followers on social media since last year and received payments of RM1,500 to RM8,000 a month for one platform according to the number of followers by gambling syndicates,” he said during a special media conference in Bukit Aman here today.

He said that the influencers were usually active on two social media platforms, and those arrested had hidden their illicit activities behind selling other products, such as cosmetics, on social media.

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“30 mobile phones were seized from the suspects, who will be remanded and investigated under Section 4(1)(g) of the Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 and Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998,” he said.

Mohd Shuhaily also shared that the police had arrested another social media influencer by the name “Miza Ozawa” on June 6 for promoting prostitution, selling self-made pornographic videos and unlicensed sex medication and seized RM30,000 in cash, a laptop and mobile phone.

The 27-year-old influencer, who was raking in around RM20,000 a month from her illegal activities, would sell sex medication before offering sex to buyers and selling the videos for RM450 to RM550, he added.

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Mohd Shuhaily said that a foreign man, 20, and woman, 26, who acted in the sex videos, along with two girls, 17 and 20, were arrested along with the influencer, adding that all suspects have been remanded for 14 days until June 20.

The case is being investigated under Section 372(1) and 292(a) of the Penal Code, Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 and Regulation 7(1)(a) of the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984. — Bernama