Malaysian Online Gambling Blitz Hampered By Moles

Police report a dismal success rate recently due to informers tipping off targeted illegal operators

The nationwide police blitz against online gambling operators in Malaysia (see previous InfoPowa report) is being hampered by the activities of informers who have been tipping off targeted illegal operators prior to police raids… and in some cases police suspect their own members may be the moles.

The prior warnings to operators have been so effective that recent raids returned only a 2 percent success rate, police spokesmen revealed Monday.

In implementing the blitz, the Malaysian government has demanded a coordinated approach by state and local authorities which includes heavy enforcement activity, research into illegal website and ISP blocking, and even orders for the cutting off of electricity to illegal gambling venues to stop them reopening.

Police spokesmen said recent statistics have shown that only 168 of 9,663 raids had been successful due to the operators receiving prior warning, and in the main temporarily closing and locking down their premises.

Federal Secret Societies, Gambling and Vice Division principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Roslee Chik commented: "The ones that we were successful at raiding were those trying their luck and hoping to escape us."

Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Zubaidah Md Ismail, director of the police Integrity and Standard Compliance Department, said that the police were aware of the tip-offs, and suspicions that some of the information was emanating from moles within the police department..

"We are aware of this problem and we will get to the bottom of it. It is costing us public confidence," she told The Star newspaper. "Identifying the informants is our top priority."

Nevertheless, operating in the region generally is proving to be an expensive enterprise for illegal operators in terms of hardware, The Star reports; police released year-to-date statistics showing that this year alone police have confiscated 141, 242 computer sets used in illegal online gambling.

The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said that since October 27 almost 600 people had been detained in police swoops, and that the second phase of the blitz would target those premises that were closed and locked during the first wave of raids.

"We are serious about eradicating illegal gambling in the country," his office said.

Last month the Inspector General threatened to immediately transfer any police commanders who did not energetically pursue his directive to eradicate all illegal online gambling.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowa

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