Singapore Crime Boss Gets Five Years for Illegal Online Gambling Syndicate

Posted on: August 4, 2021, 03:18h. 

Last updated on: August 4, 2021, 09:13h.

The leader of an illegal online gambling syndicate was sentenced to a maximum five years and five months in a Singapore prison Monday. He was convicted for masterminding a lottery-betting outfit that generated multimillions of dollars.

Lim Beng Tiong
Unidentified suspects arrested during 2016 police raids that snared Lim and several other illegal gambling bosses. (Image: The Straits Times)

Lim Beng Tiong, 57, was originally arrested along with 48 other suspects in 2016. The Straits Times described the arrests at the time as one of the largest police operations against a criminal syndicate in Singapore.

Among those detained were other leaders of organized crime groups, the newspaper said. Some were among the first to be charged under Singapore’s recently enacted Organized Crime Act.

Following coordinated raids across the island, police said they froze 36 properties with an estimated value of about $39 million, and $6.5 million in bank accounts.

Earlier this year, Lim pleaded guilty to two charges under Singapore’s Remote Gambling Act, and three others under the Organized Crime Act.

4D and TOTO

According to court documents, Lim’s organization controlled websites that allowed customers to take bets on TOTO and 4-D lotteries. 4-D refers to “4-Digits,” a lottery variant popular in Singapore and Malaysia, which is like Pick-4 in the US. TOTO is a more traditional lottery draw, using at least six balls.

The group had networks of agents that would recruit customers, giving them log-in details to access the syndicate’s websites. It also had employees who performed roles like network support, collecting debts, and tallying accounts, prosecutors said.

The operation collected S$2 million (USD$1.49 million) in bets in the month preceding the arrests. Between January 2013 and November 2016, it collected up to S$4.32 million in illegal bets.

According to English-speaking Singapore newspaper TODAY, Lim began the operation in 2001 with his brother, Lim Meng Seng. But he took over the modern-day numbers racket around 2012 when his brother suffered a stroke.

Lim is described in court documents as “the shareholder and operator” of the websites. He was also a shareholder in another website which he did not operate.

More Await Sentencing  

Those arrested at the same time as Lim included father and son Ow Choon Bok, 44, and Ow Gowan Hock, 73. They were also charged with operating an illegal lottery website, the now-defunct

In December last year, the younger Ow was sentenced to five years in prison and fined S$500,000, while his father was jailed for three-and-a-half years and fined S$300,000.

Three brothers, Steven Seet Seo Boon, 54, Eric Seet Seow Huat, 63, and Philip Seet Sian Thian, 71, who operated websites including and, are awaiting sentence.