Arrest Without Trial For Two Years Used In Malaysian Gambling Bust

Police report the first use of a controversial and truly draconian law

The alleged ring leader of a Klang Valley illegal online gambling business in Malaysia has become the first person to be arrested under recently passed controversial laws allowing individuals to be detained or restricted for two years without trial.

The Prevention of Crime Act (Amendment and Extension) Act 2013 covers drug trafficking, triad activities and organised crime, and allows suspects to be detained without trial for up to two years under a supervision order.

That period can be extended by another two years under a detention order issued by a Prevention of Crime Board.

A supervision order allows for detention or use of electronic monitoring devices and can include conditions such as restrictions on Internet use or associating with specific persons.

The Act was fiercely contested in its passage through the Malaysian parliament earlier this year due to its draconian nature, but was passed on government assurances that it would be used only as a last resort against hardcore criminals, and would replace the even more controversial Internal Security Act (ISA), Emergency Ordinance and Restricted Residence Act.

The Star newspaper reported that the still unidentified alleged ring leader is a man in his fifties who is believed to have ties to organised crime, is a repeat offender, and is understood to have been under surveillance for some time.

Police Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Samah Mat confirmed the man was arrested in an operation on October 20 this year, following a public tip-off and police surveillance reports.

"Investigations revealed that he had been operating his [online gambling] dens for about two years," he said, adding that the accused was currently on remand whilst investigations continued.

Malaysia is currently in the midst of a massive nation-wide clampdown on illegal internet and mobile gambling.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa

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