20 Apr 2004

Malaysia arrests 10 for suspected link to
football gambling ring

Arsenal defender Ashley Cole (front) blocks Manchester United striker Ruud van NistelrooyPolice in Malaysia detained 10 locals, including two women, whom they suspect of having links to Hong Kong football gambling syndicates, a senior officer said in the capital.
Mustafa Abdullah, Kuala Lumpur police chief, said this was the third gambling ring busted since March and was believed to be taking daily bets worth up to 10 million ringgit (2.63 million dollars).
"Initial investigations revealed that this syndicate has its headquarters in Hong Kong. We do not rule out that it may have links to the other two groups that were busted on April 12 and March 2," he was quoted as saying Monday by the official Bernama news agency.
Mustafa said police officers raided an apartment in the capital after receiving a tip-off.
"At the time of the operation there were 10 people aged between 21 and 29 and a number of computers which showed the schedule of an international football tournament," he said.
Mustafa said police seized 22 computer monitors, one fax machine, three television sets and four mobile telephones.
In April, Malaysian police arrested seven people, including four Chinese from Hong Kong, for running a multi-million dollar illegal football gambling syndicate.
The syndicate, operating from a posh 15th floor Kuala Lumpur apartment, had accepted bets involving up to some six million ringgit a day for most English Premier League and European matches.
While football gambling is banned in Malaysia, betting on English Premier League matches is rife. Five members of another syndicate, including four Hong Kong men, were arrested last month.
"The syndicate operated its multi-million ringgit business using a website where members could log on and place their bets. Payment was made using credit cards," Mustafa had said.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) last month issued a fresh warning to all its associations, especially those in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam, to guard against illegal betting groups and possible match-fixing.
"They are all over Asia. We know there are many such syndicates. We have to remain vigilant as the Olympics approaches," AFC secretary-general Peter Velappan told AFP.
Parent site: "The World At Your Fingertips"