n a news release on Monday, police said the 24 men and nine women, aged between 24 and 69, were arrested during simultaneous raids across Singapore. It was one of the largest operations conducted by the Singapore Police Force (SPF) against a criminal syndicate, authorities said. The 30 locations covered include Bedok, Bishan, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Serangoon, Tampines and Yishun.
During the operation, cash amounting to about S$1.3 million, an array of computers, mobile phones, fax machines and other documents such as betting records were seized. The police also initiated the freezing of the suspects’ bank accounts, with cash amounting to about S$6.5 million and 36 properties with an estimated value of about S$39 million.
Police said based on preliminary investigations, the organised criminal group is believed to have operated several illegal online betting websites facilitating lottery and horse betting. It involved networks of agents and punters betting through the group's websites and members facilitating the OCG’s activities by registering the betting websites, performing network support, collecting monies or tallying accounts for the group, police added.
The suspects are believed to have received bets amounting to more than an estimated S$2 million in the past month, said the police.
Investigations against all the suspects are ongoing for offences under the Organised Crime Act 2015 and the Remote Gambling Act 2014.
“This is the first major operation by the Singapore Police Force against an OCG since the enactment of the Organised Crime Act,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Investigations and Intelligence) and Director of the Criminal Investigation Department Tan Chye Hee.
“The Organised Crime Act was enacted to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to prevent and disrupt the activities of OCGs,” he added. “OCGs are involved in serious criminal activities such as unlawful remote gambling and can pose a serious threat to Singapore’s safety and security.”
Under the Remote Gambling Act, those who provide a Singapore-based remote gambling service could be liable for a fine of between S$20,000 and S$500,000 and be jailed for a maximum of seven years.