On­line casino syn­di­cate lucks out

> Five men ar­rested over KL-based racket mak­ing RM3.3m in monthly prof­its


KUALA LUMPUR: Po­lice have busted an on­line casino that has been rak­ing in over RM3.3 mil­lion in prof­its ev­ery month with the ar­rest of five men.

The il­le­gal on­line racket was busted when po­lice raided its “cus­tomer ser­vice de­part­ment” op­er­at­ing from an apart­ment in Jalan Ke­lang Lama on Fri­day. Five men aged be­tween 22 and 28 were ar­rested in the raid.

The cen­tre had sent out hun­dreds of thou­sands of text mes­sages to hand­phone users to pro­mote its web­site for over a year.

Kuala Lumpur po­lice chief Com­mis­sioner Datuk Seri Ma­zlan Lazim yes­ter­day said the sus­pects were be­hind the text mes­sages sent to ran­dom phone num­bers in Malaysia and China to pro­mote their gambling ac­tiv­i­ties us­ing a GSM SMS blaster de­vice.

He said the de­vice is ca­pa­ble of send­ing out thou­sands of mes­sages si­mul­ta­ne­ously to hand­phone users.

“They had turned the rented apart­ment into their of­fice and ‘pro­mo­tion cen­tre’ for about a year,” Ma­zlan said.

“In­ves­ti­ga­tions show that they had over 20,000 clients and re­ceived over RM120,000 daily from them. The cash is trans­acted via wire or bank trans­fers and this is why we found no money at the place.”

Ma­zlan said the “cus­tomer ser­vice” staff were tasked to man­age po­ten­tial clients who re­spond to the text mes­sages.

He said the sus­pects guided their clients on how to de­posit cash to pur­chase cred­its to play over 10 casino games on the web­site.

“Their clients were Malaysians and Chi­nese na­tion­als.

“They used both lo­cal and Chi­nese bank ac­counts to re­ceive pay­ments and also used the same method to pay out win­nings.

“Once pay­ment is re­ceived from clients, a gambling ac­count is ac­ti­vated for them to start en­gag­ing in the casino games. We are also look­ing for the op­er­a­tor of the web­site and are in­ves­ti­gat­ing how the syn­di­cate had ob­tained the data of tele­phone num­bers in their pos­ses­sion.”

The raid was car­ried out by a po­lice team from the city’s antigam­bling unit fol­low­ing a tip-off.

Apart from the SMS blaster de­vice, the raid­ing party also seized com­put­ers, modems and other equip­ment.

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