Continuing its war on illegal gambling, the Sarawak police raided 26 locations in the capital city of Kuching, arresting 41 people last week. Money, mobile phones, portable printers, calculators, betting slips and stationery were seized.

Sarawak illegal gambling raids

A Sarawak police office detains a man who was pulled over and found to have an illegal gambling sheet. Officials in the Malaysian state in Borneo have vowed to rid the area of illegal gambling. (Image: The Star)

The operation was performed by the state’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and lasted from March 13-19. Many forms of illicit wagering were found, including cyber-gambling and off-track betting on horse racing.

Datuk Dev Kumar, CID chief senior assistant commander for the Malaysian state on the island of Borneo, said lottery ticket sales from unauthorized stores was also included in the sweep.

“Over recent weeks, the state CID has observed the mushrooming of illegal counters selling public lottery tickets in the state,” he said in a statement. “We do not condone such illegal activities, conducted openly in public places.”

Problem Rampant

Most of the people were found conducting the prohibited activities were in stores or cafes, and didn’t seem that concerned with being caught.

One group was discovered by accident. CID officers were in a food court and stumbled upon eight men who were running an illegal off-track horse betting venture. Out in the open were schedules, mobile phones and betting slips.

Other seizures have been possible by tips from the public, who are tired of the disturbances it causes in their neighborhoods.

Campaign Against Gambling

This is the latest crackdown to try and rid the area of gambling, which is a huge problem, according to authorities.

In October two separate maneuvers throughout the state netted more than 100 arrests. The first was the first week of the month and yielded 84 arrests. In addition a number of online gambling machines were confiscated.

Two weeks later 33 men were taken into custody, including several teenagers. Online gambling machines, lottery tickets and computers with online sites were found at the sites of the raid.

The government has vowed to rid the country of this problem and will continue investigating stores that are connected with the menace, including coffee houses, phone stores and cafes.

“We thank members of the public for continuously furnishing us with information on illegal gambling activities and supporting us in our efforts,” he said.